By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

CWU police lieutenant climbs 12 peaks this summer

McPherson (right) and Burson (left) on the summit of North Sister. Photo courtesy of Marc McPherson

CWU’s police lieutenant Marc McPherson climbed 12 peaks from July 23 to Aug. 2. McPherson, accompanied by the Corporal for the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Nick Burson, traveled through Oregon, California and Washington. 

According to McPherson, he climbed Lassen Peak, Mount Shasta, Shastina, South Sister, Middle Sister, North Sister, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Glacier Peak and Mount Baker.  

Out of the 12 peaks he climbed this summer, McPherson said that his favorite was Mount Jefferson. 

“We were hiking and climbing for 24 hours straight just because the approach was so long,” McPherson said. 

During the hike, McPherson said they had to bring out rope and anchors and while it was a long day, the views were beautiful. 

“There was nobody else on the mountain so we had it all to ourselves,” McPherson said. “The weather was amazing.” 

It was late at night when McPherson was hiking Mount Jefferson. He said he looked over and saw two glowing eyes on the same side of the head, which meant it wasn’t a deer. 

“We were being followed by a cougar,” McPherson said. “We started yelling at it and started throwing rocks at it and it didn’t even flinch.”

The cougar followed them for about 200 yards, McPherson said. 

McPherson said after a week away from home, napping in random places and missing family and friends, they thought about stopping.  

While climbing Mount Hood, McPherson said he thought they might not make it because the conditions were so terrible due to it being late in the season. 

“By that point, we were far enough into it that the motivation to finish the project was there,” McPherson said.  

The last peak McPherson and Burson climbed was Mount Baker. McPherson said while they were exhausted, it was exciting knowing they completed the trip. 

According to McPherson, when they got to the top of Mount Baker, it was a clear day and they had the summit to themselves. 

At the top, McPherson said they could see to Canada and out through the Pacific Ocean to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

“It was exciting knowing that you’re done,” McPherson said. 

McPherson said that being able to share this experience with Burson was awesome because they are such great climbing buddies and have the same goals. He said that they have been climbing together for 13 or 14 years.

“Somebody mentioned that I climbed mountains too and so we got connected and started climbing and we’ve been buddies ever since,” McPherson said. 

McPherson said he got into climbing as an adult after the loss of his father and sister, who both wanted to climb Mount Rainier. McPherson and his brother took some flowers and spread their ashes at Rainier. 

“That’s where I got hooked, just because I know that both my dad and my sister had wanted to climb Mount Rainier [but] never had the opportunity,” McPherson said.

North Sister in the morning
Photo courtesy of Marc McPherson


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