Mike Torok

I met John about 10 years ago and have been on 27 outings with him, some multiple day but most have been one day. Our first was a Mountaineers outing to Crosby Mtn (4/10/94) led by Kal, and the last was Mt Anderson-West peak last Fourth-of-July 2003. I would say no outing really stands out, which means I kept up (it's those outings I can't keep up that I remember). I learned the hard way with John in selecting a destination. If one joins his outing, accept the fact that John picks the trip destination 99% of the time. I have also learned, John does not repeat destinations. So to find an interesting summit get together these days is almost impossible (he's done everything). I would say John has loosened up a bit in the last few years in sharing his "secrets" on route descriptions, and that's been really appreciated. His numerous descriptions in Red/Green Fred have been of great help too.

One outing that was memorable with John is Twin Peaks up the NF Snoqualmie River on 3/17/96 . I not sure if John or Jeff Howbert came up with this destination. We started near first light. After walking a road for a short distance, we headed off-trail upslope and soon were greeted with lightly snow-covered jack-strawed trees from a Weyerhaeuser thinning. This seemed to go on many hours for just 800 feet of gain. Then we reached an old logging road that led us to a drivable road. Where did this come from and why didn't we use this for the approach? Shortly we were at Loch Katrine Lake . We had hoped the lake would be snow-covered so getting to the other side would be easy. John led us, thrashing through heavy brush (he is not slowed by brush) for an hour, to get to the far side of the lake. Next it was up thin snow-covered very steep brush forest. More slow going. We eventually reached good snow and the summit very late. I should mention, the turn-around is the Summit . But in this case going back the same route would have us in the dark thrashing through bush in the dark. John suggested a direct descent to Sunday Creek and pick up the trail to follow a known route out. The direct descend to Sunday Creek went well. However we reached the creek around dark and the trail no longer was maintained. This was not quite what was planned. We eventually found good trail and were able to follow it with headlamps. One challenge remained, crossing Sunday 'river'. After that wet experience, a couple hours later we were back to the car safely. This is the kind of trip I wish to avoid. John chocked up two more fine summits on his list.

Happy Birthday John. Wishing you many more Birthdays and many more wonderful outings.

Mike T.

Sweet Chariot (Slide) Peak 2/23/03 -John on the summit with Snowking and Pickets in the back:


Mt Anderson West Pk (7/6/03) - John leading the steep snow to the summit: