Flash Back Fridays! (#FBF)
TIM RIPPEL 1983
I was accepted in the 4 month Guide program at Strathcona Park Lodge in March of 1983. After the course I was hired and worked six seasons instructing and guiding school groups, and led the COLT -Land based program teaching survival,search and rescue, climbing and mountaineering courses. My first High Altitude climb took place while on an expe- dition with Rob and Laurie Wood from Strathcona, with a group to Mt. Waddington.
I left Strathcona to I work winters as the leader of the Pro-Patrol team at Powder King Ski Village in the Pine Pass, mountain safety and eventually also ran outside operations. It was here I met Becky who was running ski tours up to this area from Prince George. Working winters allowed me the flexibility to get out into the mountains in the spring and summer and climb in other parts of the world.
Becky had two children so we had to pull out ￼￼￼￼￼from northern ski post and move to a community for school. We chose Nelson, B.C. We built a log home in the woods together and I worked winters as a Heli Ski Guide with Kootenay Heli Ski, now CMH. I trained for my first Everest expedition while working at Powder King. Becky joined me to ￼climb Everest in 1991, my first Everest climb .This is when we learned how much we had to offer each other; we formed Peak Freak Expeditions offering International High Altitude Expeditions World Wide. We haven’t looked back. At the time of writing this I’m about to jump on the plane for my 32nd high altitude expedition which includes eight of them on Everest.
I owe everything to the Boulding family for giving me the opportunities that they did which has set me up for my dream come true-climbing the world and being able to support a family and lifestyle, while doing what I love. If ever asked, “what was the saddest day in my life?” It would be the day I found out Jim Boulding had terminal cancer. I have never stopped thinking of my times with him and how I admired his goals and what he made of them. Everything from the family he raised to the importance he put on protecting the environment, the value of a healthy life-style and getting families out into the outdoors and for giving people a shot. To Myrna and family, I think about all of you all the time. In particular Nick my side-kick. Occasionally I run into some of the older timers from there. There is always so much to say, and the conversation always ends with admitting that those we some of best days of our lives.
The best part is running into young aspiring kids that have just come from Strathcona. The outdoor industry is a very tight knit social network and at one point we all seem to cross each others paths. I wish them all the best karma that I was fortunate to have.
Myrna’s note: Tim was a terrific worker: he could weld, fix boats, guide trips, cook breakfast and always offered to help me tidy up the prop- erty. On a single day off he paddled down to Buttle Lake and climbed up the front face of the vertical slab called Mount McBride and paddled back late that night. The next day was at work welding bed frames broken by active school kids.