Dusty, Toby and Christina Steere

Growing up in the Steere family Toby and I were initiated early on into the joys and challenges of backcountry living. However, it wasn't until we climbed our first 10,000 foot peak with John Roper that the Steere cousins fully understood how to pack for a Roper climb. Our destination was Black Peak, tall and commanding rising from deep within the North Cascade Mountain range. The climbing party consisted of Tex, Toby, Dusty, Monte, Grady and Nigel Steere who followed our fearless leader John Roper. Down at basecamp our packs had been considerably lightened as John paired down our "10 essentials" to what seemed like 3 essentials. The climbing trip was a fabulously memorable experience as we all summited Black Peak on a sunny summer morning and took in the glorious views. However, as the climbing party began its descent back to the cars, young Dusty felt the call of mother nature and announced his urgent need to vacate his bowels. He quickly emptied his backpack in search of toilet paper but found none. Frantically, he asked John to use some of his. John smiled, reached down, selected a smooth rock and handed it to Dusty with this warning, "Don't squeeze the Charmin."

Dusty, Toby & Christina Steere

Dusty, Toby, Grady and Monte climbing somewhere up near Diablo in about 1987


Hidden Lake with John giving his party directions. The party includes Dusty and Christina Steere, Sarah Steere, Denise Toal, Aaron, Ella and Grady Steere.