Past winter season I took on a personal challenge to summit Denali (Mt. McKinley).  A mutual friend has referred Forrest Barker as a very competent and accomplished mountaineer that would greatly enhance our “Super Excited” Denali summit team.

None of the Super Excited team members have met or climbed with Forrest and with summit application deadline approaching, we had to make a quick decision if Forrest was to join us on the climb.  We met the following weekend to summit Mt. Shasta and practice crevasse rescue techniques.  Although we made our share of blunders, the weekend was a great learning experience with Forrest greatly contributing with his prior knowledge.  With that, we all agreed that Forrest is a great fit for our team and our Denali climbing permit was amended to include one additional team member.

In subsequent days while climbing Denali, I got to know Forrest on a more personal level.  His enthusiasm and energy were contagious somehow making the heavy loads we were carrying / pulling up the mountain less of a burden.  He is a determined individual, tirelessly going about building an igloo for almost two days.  Though he claimed his reason for the igloo was to keep active, it was a quite a relief to have a large shelter for our team where we could stand up, and one particular afternoon, host a movie for eight other Denali climbers.  

Forrest proved to be the only team member with enough physical endurance to reach the summit.  Congratulations Forrest and thank you for representing team Super Excited at the apex of Denali.  Good luck on future climbs as well as with your contributions to Peaks of Life

Dominik Nadolski,