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Greg Palmer

Greg Palmer

Years hiking: Over 24 years

Years as a DPH leader: 24

Most memorable experience hiking: I had a hiker faint and fall into the South Yuba River.

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Sharing all the history

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The great volume of history in and around Donner Summit from 1844 to the present.

What other activities do you enjoy: Biking, Kayaking, Skiing

 

 

Jackie

Jackie Thomas

Jackie Thomas

Years hiking: 25 years (as long as I have lived in the Tahoe Basin)

Years as a DPH leader: 16

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: I love sharing this area with people. Many of whom have lived here or nearby and never knew what was right under their noses!

Favorite piece of hiking gear: WATER

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: This small area has more history than most areas hundreds of miles around! It has Native American history dating back 5000 years, emigrant history back to 1800’s, Railroad history, historic road history, record snow history and ski resort history all in a few square miles!

Other activities: music kayaking, four wheeling, camping….being outside.

 

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Greg Hackett

Greg Hackett

Years hiking: 47

Years as a DPH leader: 14

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Sharing and helping people.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Camelback for water!

Other activities: mountain biking, kayaking and reading

 

 

 

 

Paul Arthur

Years hiking: 60

Years as a DPH leader: 10

Most memorable experience hiking: Patagonia, Condors and Guanacoc Bhutans, history and people

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Introducing new travelers to the beauty of there trail

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Old Boots

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The mental and physical strength of the emigrants

Other activities: Skiing, climbing and kayaking

 

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Floyd Whiting

Floyd Whiting

Years hiking: Lifelong

Years as a DPH leader: 8

Most memorable experience hiking: A one week backpacking trip hiking thru the Hermits rest area of the Grand Canyon. I went for an early morning run one morning and saw a condor perched on a rock above the trail. I got a real close-up view of that magnificent bird.

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: I enjoy meeting the great folks that get involved in this event.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: My wide brimmed hat.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The most intriguing aspect is how significant the area is, not only to California history, but to U.S. History. There are so many intercontinental firsts that went over Donner Pass- first railroad, first telephone line, first airmail route, etc.

Other activities: Ultra-marathon running, kayaking and international travel.

 

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Bill Oudegeest

Bill Oudegeest

Years hiking: 57

Years as a DPH leader: 6

Most memorable experience hiking: Finding petrified wood in Summit Valley leaving one to wonder- what was going on then?

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Good stories

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The many firsts for Donner Summit: wagon trains to California, transcontinental highway, transcontinental railroad, transcontinental air route, transcontinental telephone, making it the most important historical area in California and the Western United States.

Other activities: Photography, woodworking, community activities.

 

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George Lamson

George Lamson

Years hiking: 32

Years as a DPH leader: 4

Most memorable experience hiking: Discovering Native American copules in Van Norden Meadows.

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Sharing the rich history of the Donner Summit area.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Boots

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: There is always something new to learn.

Other activities: Skiing, kayaking, mountain biking, photography.

 

Mitch

Mitch Clarin

Mitch Clarin

Years hiking: Lifelong

Years as a DPH leader: 5

Most memorable experience hiking: Packing down an early snowfall with my feet!

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: It’s fun. Meeting new people and teaching them about the place I love!

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Need good shoes for a good time.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: It’s first. Railroad, Highway, Air freight.

Other activities: Skiing, motorcycling.

 

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Tricia Cook

Tricia Cook

Years hiking: 37

Most memorable experience hiking: Crossing the sierras from Lone Pine to Mineral King

Other activities: Skiing, biking, golf, paddle boarding.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stuart Harman

Stuart Harman

Years hiking: 40 plus

Most memorable experience hiking: Base of Zermatt-Matterhorn

Favorite piece of hiking gear: GPS

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The course and determination of those who dared venture to California knowing the risks and realizing there were unknowns.

Other activities: Skiing, boating, hiking, wine making, my dogs

 

 

 

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Gina Salomon

Gina Salomon

Years hiking with Donner Party Hike: 5

Years as a DPH leader: 4

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Giving history information to the hikers

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Shoes – when comfortable.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: How many different routes they used crossing.

Other activities: Pickle ball

 

 

 

Rob and Vicky Cofer

Years hiking: 20 plus

Years as a DPH leader: 1

Most memorable experience hiking: Mt. Judah and Donner Peak

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Camelback

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: Emigrant History

Other activities: Hiking!

 

Patricia Featherstone

Years hiking: 65 plus

Years as a DPH leader: 1

Most memorable experience hiking: Southeast England Cornwell Coastal Path

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Neck kerchief

Other activities: Skiing, reading, traveling

 

Liliana

Liliana Cartagena

Liliana Cartagena

Years hiking: 15

Years as a DPH herder: 15 (since 2001)

What do you like most about being a DPH hike herder: All of the amazingly interesting historical facts you learn each year.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Comfortable boots!

What other activities do you enjoy: Reading.

 

 

 

 

 

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Greg Zirbel

Greg Zirbel

Years Hiking:  Lifelong

Years as a DPH leader: 5 Years

Most memorable experience hiking?  Clear as day I can remember the early morning ice sheet on Roller Pass as a buddy of mine and I were traversing the east face of Mt Lincoln after climbing Mt. Judah to Roller Pass. Carrying 40lb packs and cross country skis headed over to Benson’s Hut we made a dumb decision and not also climb to the top of Mt. Lincoln. The cornice was big and long on the other side, we never made it instead we both slipped half way across. I was able to throw away my skis and use my poles to stop after about 50 feet. My friend continued to slide hundreds of feet until he hit a huge tree and despaired into its swell. He was lucky to hit that first tree on the way down which is why he survived with only a broken ankle and is doing great today, that was 1979. That was in high school, I learned a lot in school. We had planned to go weeks before but it had been raining so we put it off twice. In those weeks before I had the same dream multiple times and it was us slipping, and just before I slipped, I heard Jimmy say, “Help “ and in the time I turned to see Jimmy slipping my whole dream played in my mind in a split second. Be careful out there folks.

What do you like most about being a DPH leader? I like being a leader because it’s always a learning experience. Our practice hikes are loaded with local knowledge which improves my database of knowledge to pass on to those I hike with.

Favorite piece of hiking gear?  My camera. I don’t go anywhere without my camera.

 

Paul

Paul Ackerman

Paul Ackerman

Years hiking: 15

Years as DPH leader: 7

Most memorable experience hiking:  Meeting Ken Kaneda, a member of the Tahoe Trampers hiking club and Truckee resident, who was on scene when the turkey truck skidded off of Old Highway 40 in the early 50’s.  He related the story on one my Summit Canyon history hikes.

What do I like most about being a DPH hike leader:  Relating the fabulous and unique history of the Donner Summit: area to everyone.
Favorite piece of hiking gear:  My water bottle.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit:  The fact that there is more historic transportation history in one square mile of Donner Summit than anywhere in the United States.

What other activities do I enjoy:  I enjoy kayaking, camping, metal detecting, fishing, and hiking with two local hiking clubs.

 

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Adam Craig

Adam Craig

Years hiking: Over 22 years

Years as a DPH leader: 5 years as a leader plus one more year as an attendee

Most memorable experience hiking: I was backpacking in the Redwoods just north of Arcata, CA and just about dusk i exited from inside a giant redwoods grove out onto the beachto see the sun setting over the horizon of bright blue water on a clear evening; and the whole beach had an orange glow to it. I have also recently experienced the joy of climbing Angels Landing in Zion National Park. When you finally reach the top, jetted out from the canyon wall; you can 360 degress around you.

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Re-living the same experience the emigrants did each time I hike it. Picturing what they went through, what obstacles they had to overcome; their trials, losses, joys, and endurance and determination it took to reach their goal.. It puts my life in small perspective.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: My journal. My journal has been everywhere I have. I have recorded all the sights, sounds, animals, landscapes, and overall experiences from each hike I am made in the past 10-15 years.

What other activities do you enjoy: If I am not camping, hiking, or backpacking; you can find me working in the wine cellar in Napa CA or just enjoying my time with my wife and dog. I do like to write, but most of it is contained in my hiking journal these days.

 

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Penelope Curtis

Years hiking: 68 yrs

Years as a DPH leader: 7

Most memorable experience hiking: One of the most memorable times was on a hike in the Tetons while fly fishing & watching an osprey fly down over the lake where I was fishing & snag a huge trout.

 What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: It is great fun to be with others who enjoy the history of the Donner Summit area and who tell wonderful stories while we hike. The event draws an eclectic bunch of people from all over who want to learn more about the area’s history. I enjoy relating what I know about the area including my own ancestral history.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: My many pocked hiking vest.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: What I am awed at is the endurance of the women who trekked across the country for 6 months wearing long dresses. They had to ford streams, scramble over rocks, push wagons – doing everything while wearing the most unsuitable clothing for the journey.

What other activities do you enjoy: I enjoy photography…doing photographic journals & video documentaries

 

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Ron Grove  
Years hiking:

Years as a DPH leader:5

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader? The people, guides and participants are the nicest people in the world.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit:The passes from Roller Pass to Coldstream.
What other activities do you enjoy: Socializing

 

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Jerry Blackwill

Years hiking: 37 (Including 10 years as a Sierra Club leader)

Years as a DPH leader: 9

Most memorable experience hiking: I remember reaching the top of Mt Judah and visualizing the trail-hardened emigrants coming through Dog Valley, up Alder Creek, across to Coldstream Valley and then over Roller pass to the Summit Valley below.

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader? Sharing the region’s human and natural history with others.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: Understanding how guides like Caleb Greenwood conquered the Summit first by pulling wagons over Donner Pass, then Roller Pass and finally Coldstream pass. And later, how the American and Chinese railroad builders blasted their way through the top of the Sierras to link the nation with California.

What other activities do you enjoy: I’m Board President of Sierra State Parks Foundation. The Foundation helps California State Parks with interpretive and educational activities at Donner Memorial State Park, Sugar Pine Point, Emerald Bay and four other state parks. I also work with the Truckee Donner Railroad Society to build a major railroad museum telling the story of Truckee and railroading.

 

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Maria Pietsch

 Years hiking: 1 year as a participant .7th year with the Donner Party

 Years as a DPH leader: 0 – I like being a herder

 Most memorable experience hiking: The landscape of the Sierra’s. I’m always in awe of the beauty. Also seeing the remains of Indian life and roads the immigrants created crossing the Sierra Mountains.

 Favorite piece of hiking gear: My poles

 What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: Just the idea of packing up all your belongings, your family and what you hoped was enough food in a covered wagon with some oxen and head off into the unknown based on what you heard from others looking for a better life.

 What other activities do you enjoy: Traveling, sewing, camping

 

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Sonya Koster

Years hiking: 12

Years as a DPH leader: 11

Most memorable experience hiking:  Hiking in the snow with snowshoes to beat down the path.  It was a beautiful day back in 2011?, but trying to break trail in a foot of snow for my hikers was challenging.  We could not complete the hike, but at least the hikers got a glimpse of the challenges the Donner Party may have faced as they crossed the Sierra.

 What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader:  I like being able to share our rich history of the Truckee area and find it rewarding when hikers enjoy the experience.

Favorite piece of hiking gear:  My poles and my Keen boots!

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit:  What’s most intriguing about the emigrant history is the will and determination they had to cross the Sierra despite all the unknown challenges they faced.  They knew they could have a better life in California and they sacrificed everything including their own lives.

What other activities do you enjoy: Love to road ride and do hot yoga.

 

 Jennie

Jennie Gordon

Years hiking: 11 years

Years as a DPH leader: 8 years

 Memorable experiences hiking: My first longer hike, 15 miles, I was really anxious the evening before hoping I would be able to finish and not hold up the others in the group. Well I did just fine and have enjoyed some even longer hikes since then. Also, sharing with friends completion of their final pieces of the Tahoe Rim Trail

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Sharing the beautiful mountains and surrounding areas I call home with visitors to the area and helping visitors learn a bit of the large history of the area.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: My shoes, both Vasque and Merrell. Your feet must be comfortable to hike.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The building of the roads and railroad over Donner Summit.

What other activities do you enjoy: kayaking, playing games , trips to the coast, camping.

 img_3162Esther Walters

Years hiking: 30 plus years

Years as a DPH leader: 8 years

 Memorable experiences hiking: All of them take my breath away

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Meeting all the people

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Camelback

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: All the hardships our ancestors went through to be in this area or just pass thru for a better life.

What other activities do you enjoy: Biking, pool, acting and volunteering

img_3155Jim Stobaugh

Years hiking: 45years

Years as a DPH leader: 4 years

 Memorable experiences hiking: North Rim Grand Canyon to Phantom Ranch and Chicago Basin Purgatory, Colorado

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Seeing people enjoying the hike and outdoors.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Camelback bottle

What other activities do you enjoy: Guitar playing and music.

img_3158Rick Mitchell

Years hiking: 50 plus years

Years as a DPH leader: 1 years

 Memorable experiences hiking: Hiking the John Muir Trail with my daughter

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: I enjoy seeing people get excited about emigrant history.

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: I am still in awe at the courage and determination of the emigrants traveling west.

What other activities do you enjoy: XC skiing

Karl Pape

Years hiking: 45 years

Years as a DPH leader: 2 years

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Talking about the history of Donner Summit, the Central Pacific and interacting with other hikers.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Hiking poles

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The building of Tunnel Six and other tunnels for the railroad.

What other activities do you enjoy: Docent at the old Truckee Jail.

Ed Czerwinski

Years hiking: Many

Years as a DPH leader: 2 years

 Memorable experiences hiking: Getting back after overdoing it!

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Telling people the history of the area

Favorite piece of hiking gear: Camelback

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: How the pioneers made it over the summit

What other activities do you enjoy: Model railroading

2016-09sep-19-bscBarbara Shelden Czerwinski

Years hiking: 7 years

Years as a DPH leader: 2 years

 Memorable experiences hiking: The breathtaking Donner Lake view from the Glacier Way Trail

What do you like most about being a DPH hike leader: Meeting interesting people.

Favorite piece of hiking gear: My shoes, boots

What is most intriguing about emigrant history and/or Donner Summit: The environmental challenges

What other activities do you enjoy: Local historical research