Characters

pictures coming fall 2006

 

Dave Svilar

I'm the father of this worthless site.  After graduating from Western in Bellingham, WA I've spent most of my time living in my parent's basement, unemployed, and watching my hairline recede.  I've since moved on to ski bumming in Telluride, CO, teaching science to an unluck bunch of high school students in Fort Collins, and now back to my parent's basement on Lopez Island in Washington.  I was recently married to one of the stars on this site (sorry, not the Redhead) and we plan to move to New Zealand at the start of 2008.  (October 2007)

 

 

Jill Svilar

A relatively new addition, but let's face it, this site is desperate for females.  Jill has been hardened by years of brotherly abuse, so when it comes to doing things outside Jill is just as tough as most guys.  Jill was told about AlpineFever.com by a family friend, and after some initial difficulties the staff here at AlpineFever.com successfully recruited her.  She made the bold decision to join the staff of AlpineFever.com in Fort Collins, CO where in her first year, she taught high school students (she's scared of them) a class on AUTOCAD (she doesn't know the first thing about it) as a full time teacher (she has no teaching credentials).  Jill moved on to teaching easier classes such as A.P. Calculus for the next two years.  She recently made an even bolder move by vowing to make her position here at AlpineFever.com a permanent position.  This was a cue for AlpineFever as she is more beautiful and fun than any of the mountains I've climbed.  She will join the staff on our move to New Zealand in 2008.  (October 2007)

 

 

Ann Svilar

My sister doesn't appear nearly enough on this site - or so that is what my friends say.  Ann will soon move to San Francisco where she will pursue her dreams of becoming a writer (going into a ton of debt).  Although my sister and I could pass for twins (or so I'd like to think) we can be as different as night and day.  I enjoyed my roll as 'big brother' until my sister began dating my friends.  Still, we were able to overlook these difficult issues and remain good friends.  My favorite memory with my sister will probably always be our trip to Nepal in 2000.  Distance has kept us from taking anymore long trips, but hopefully I'll see more of her in the coming years.  She recently finished a graduate degree in Creative Writing and is currently trying to put that to work in San Francisco.  (October 2007)

 

Dan Svilar

My all-time greatest hiking buddy.  Excursions with my dad dating back to the early 1980's got me excited about hiking and mountains.  Typical of an average Svilar, he doesn't excel at anything useful, however, he can make friends in checkout lines and fall asleep on demand.  Currently he lives with my mother in a friend's guest house in Sylvana, WA until they are both retired and can move to Lopez Island in the beautiful San Juans.   My dad doesn't consider himself a climber, but he has summited Washington volcanoes Baker, Glacier, St. Helens, and Rainier (twice) all over the age of 50.  Endurance is my dad's specialty (2:42 marathon PR), so I wouldn't be surprised if he's still moving around the hills when he's 80.  If I turn out to be half the dad he has been to me then I'll consider myself a success.  (December 2003)   

For a look at some old-school outdoors pictures click here.

 

 

Chuck Schelle

Unfortunately he doesn't appear on many trip reports in this site, but a lot of my adventures with Chuck are probably best not documented.  Some of my favorite memories involve college and Chuck Schelle.  After leading me astray to the Western Chemistry Department he took his pale white skin to Santa Barbara where he earned a Master's in Materials Science Engineering.  Chuck and I have stayed on the same career trajectory - in the past few years he has become a high school science teacher north of Bellingham.  Any of Chuck's students who may have found their way to this site should find something else to do with their time... like their science homework.  (October 2007)

 

Darren Rainey

We met in a Mountaineer's climbing course and naturally gravitated towards each other because of our exquisite climbing skills.... or maybe it was just because everyone else in the class was twice our age.  Either way, I haven't known Darren that long, but I already feel that he is one of my best friends.  The mountains have a way of doing that.  After enduring some hard times Darren's life is on track with a job in the Bellevue Fire Dept, a house in Edmonds, WA, and a lovely new bride.  When it comes to climbing I think Darren and I would agree that the main draw of this crazy sport is just spending time in the hills.  (August 2005)

 

Erik Larson

As one of my longest (and best) friends Erik and grew up fantasizing about what we'd be like in our late twenties.  Now that we've arrived our situations couldn't be more different: Erik is the proud owner of a house and job, and a victim of a cat and wife.  While his leash may have tightened since that fateful day in December 2000 his spirit for adventure still burns strong.  Trips through the trap-door into the Duchess are a thing of the past, but we still manage to hook up a couple of times each year for some outdoor excitement.  Erik currently resides in North Bend, WA while commuting to the UW where he is pursuing a master's degree in House Husbandry.  Erik is the proud father of his cute, little boy Jarret.  (October 2007)

 

Fred Sheffield

Fred (also known as Carlton Frederick Sheffield III or Alfou Sane) and I were roommates in college at Western in Bellingham, WA.  Believe it or not Fred used to be the victim of a domineering girlfriend.  Luckily, he had me as a friend, and I started a program called "Operation Wedge" that led to Fred's freedom.  I still get no credit for my work, but looking at the hardened traveler that he has become today is reward enough.  Fred spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa, two years in Cairo, Egypt, and now onto Miami (the U.S. city most closely resembling a foreign country).  Fred's taste in women has changed from rich blondes to poverty-stricken Muslim Arabs, but his unique perspective on the world hasn't.  I miss him, but look forward to hooking up for an international adventure in the coming months/years.  (August 2005) 

 

Jared Vilhauer

An aspiring Alaskan hardman, Jared guides trips on Denali for the Alaska Mountaineering School (AMS).  He's constantly scheming about frozen waterfalls, new routes in the Alaska Range or how he'll afford his next six pack of Fat Tire.  We met on the slopes of Telluride where we both suffered through brain-dead jobs.  Our attempts to climb anything together have proven mostly futile, but we still have a great time failing.  His pursuit of the climbing life is admirable even if it leaves him on the verge of financial ruin.  Hopefully Jared and I will eventually rendezvous in the Alaska Range for a successful ascent...   (April 2006)

   
 

Matt Elley

Always one to do things his own way, Matt just got done taking his beautiful new bride on a honeymoon through the slums of India.  Unfortunately Matt is another casualty of marriage, but fortunately he married a track star who has her own flair for adventure.  Our styles were sometimes different - Matt choosing to do flips on his snowboard, me choosing to stay closer to the ground - but we always seemed to have a great time on our adventures into the Cascade Mountains.  Now that he's planning to move to San Diego I'll miss spooning in the back of his Toyota Corolla and hearing about his latest conspiracy theory.  Hopefully we'll be able to dust off the snowboards in the future for another Cascade descent.  (December 2003)

 

Matt Alford

We go all the way back to Mrs. Baxter's pre-school class.  The mountains have turned us from "just" friends to great friends the last few years - my mom goes as far as to call him my girlfriend.  Matt lives life full-speed ahead and will undoubtedly be one of the area's finest alpine climbers within a few years.  It's comforting to know that if something goes wrong on a climb Matt will rise to the occasion.  Unfortunately, being a red-head not everything goes smoothly for Matt.  Within a year Matt took a 50 foot leader fall off Kangaroo Temple, a tree fall after emerging from a local tavern that broke his elbow, and numerous other misfortunes with the opposite sex.  Currently Matt teaches the benefits of physical fitness to squirrely elementary kids where he Leaves No Child Behind.  He currently resides in Seattle with his lovely girlfriend Jenny.  Besides myself, Matt is the main character of this site, so you can find out plenty more about him by clicking on past trip reports.  (April 2006)

 

Mom

She thinks climbing is ridiculous, so you may never find her in a trip report, but she is literally the 'fuel' behind a lot of these outings.  I'll never forget the many mornings in which I left the house before 4 a.m., only to have my mother up at 3:30 a.m. packing my lunch.  Her cookies have saved me numerous times throughout the years.  I used them to make friends at school growing up, and now I use them for that extra 'kick' while out in the mountains.  I don't see as many of those cookies these days, but luckily she reassures me that it's never too late to move back into her basement...

 

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