Our Bios . . . Who ARE We?

I'm Brian Stemm. Of the ol' Farts, I'm in the middle at 58 (as of 1998), 5'8" tall and, depending on the season of the year, weigh 155 to 160. I was born in Menlo, Iowa, grew up on a farm, and went to Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa. After graduation, I joined the U.S. Air Force in 1962. I left the service after 6 years as a Captain. Moved to Colorado and have lived here every since. DO NOT EVER CONSIDER MOVING HERE-THE WEATHER IS BAD YEAR AROUND. I am the Chief Financial Officer for two small growing companies. Diane and I have been married 9 years and I have a stepson, Paul and two children from a previous marriage. We live in Broomfield, Colorado. Diane and I are Host Families for UP WITH PEOPLE. We host students twice a year during their six week trainings. We are into our 5th year and 24 students.

I fell in love with the mountain and in 1970, I climbed my first 14er (14,000 foot peak) - Longs Peak. After some 18 miles and 14 hours, I knew I had a serious conditioning problem. Therefore, I begin to run once again, I ran the 1/2 mile in High School. Running soon became not just a way to get in shape for hiking the big peaks, but is now one of my passions. When I helped Doug get up Mount of the Holy Cross, this was my 12th 14er. I then hoped to climb all 54/55 14ers before turning 55. However, along the way my fear of heights seemed to get worse, maybe it has something to do with the easy ones being all done. So to overcome my fear I naturally took up rock climbing. It sort of helped me deal with this fear, so I am now at 41 14ers. But now almost all the moderates are gone and those remaining tend to have high exposure - so except for a couple more new ones, I'll be content to just do repeats or find some fun 13ers.

It should be obvious that The Grand Canyon is another of my passions. It is to me the most spiritual of places. I always come back renewed. Doug already has the next five years planned.

Doug and I have developed certain styles of being together over the years. Doug is the planner. I am the writer. Note I said writer, not necessarily a good writer, but I do have fun. He does all the programming for our web sites and processes the pictures. Doug leads going up trails. I lead going down. (When Wes joins us, he will spell one of us as the spirit moves us.)

And, I am in charge of the beer!

Hi, my name is Doug. I climb mountains and hike canyons to rekindle my spirit and replenish my soul!

I am 52 years old (as of 1998)(why do you think the name "ol' fart"?), 5'9" tall and approximately 160 lbs., with brown (actually mostly gray) hair and blue eyes. I am married (for 30 years), have a 29 year old son, and live in Boulder, Colorado.

I grew up in the Chicago area and got my first tastes of adventure in the outdoors camping, hiking and canoeing around northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin as a Boy Scout. I graduated from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1968, moved back to the Chicago area with my wife to be, Ellen, and jumped right onto the big corporation fast-track business treadmill. We were married, had a son, David, and we both began work on and, eventually, completed masters degrees. In the summer of 1974, after turning down substantial promotions to move to corporate headquarters in New York City, I jumped off the treadmill and we packed up and headed in the opposite direction - west to Boulder, Colorado. We have lived in, and loved, Boulder ever since.

In 1976, while working for a small outerwear and camping equipment company, I met Brian, who dragged me (literally) up my first Fourteener (14,000 peak), the Mount of the Holy Cross in central Colorado. I was in miserable shape, but I was still hooked. That was the beginning of a new way of life for me and also the beginning a true and life-long friendship with Brian. Since then, I have climbed 40 Fourteeners, (27 with Brian, 12 with my son, David, and 1 solo), plus several repeats and numerous smaller mountains. One of the repeats was to climb Mount of the Holy Cross again in 1995 with Brian and his brother-in-law, Wes. I have also enjoyed day hikes and 1 backpack on the Colorado Trail, and a multitude of other hiking, snow-shoeing, cross- country skiing and backpacking experiences - winter, spring, summer and fall.

In the spring of 1994, Wes, who had decided he wanted to hike into the Grand Canyon but had no real hiking or backpacking experience, approached Brian and asked Brian if he would lead him on a trip into the Grand Canyon. Brian agreed and asked that I come along. As it turned out I got sick the week before we were scheduled to go down the North Kaibab trail and out the South Kaibab trail in May 1994, so Brian and Wes went without me. Brian and I came back and did the trip together in October. Since then we have done at least one trip per year. Unfortunately work still gets in the way of life and prevents more frequent trips. In 1996, Ellen and I hiked down the South Kaibab trail to Phantom Ranch, joined a commercial raft trip and rafted through the Grand Canyon to Lake Meade for our 50th birthday presents.

We plan on doing the full Grand Canyon, from Lee's Ferry to Lake Meade in 2001, when we both retire (or at least semi-retire). In anticipation of retirement and more time for extensive travel, we bought a travel trailer in 1997 and have enjoyed our initial trips to the Oregon coast, Santa Fe/Albuquerque, New Mexico and the Flagstaff, Arizona areas. The trailer gives us a nice compromise between camping and motel living and gets us to the (natural) areas we love. It will also facilitate my continued backpacking plans, around Colorado, the Grand Canyon, the Pacific northwest, and who knows, maybe the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails...