For a 70-year-old man from Idaho, the mountains are “something special”. He climbed over 3000
BOISE – Just days after his 70th birthday, Jon Fredland has taken a new step forward. The man in Nampa, Idaho, climbed his 3,000th mountain peak, a feat that is testament to countless days spent in the great outdoors.
Fredland and a group of friends and family climbed Trinity Mountain, a 9,451-foot mountain in the Boise National Forest. Fredland said he was looking for peaks high enough to escape the smoke from the wildfires that ravaged Treasure Valley for much of the summer. Other than that, he said in a phone interview, he didn’t give much thought to choosing the capital mountain.
âI do so many peaks, it came to me so fast,â said Fredland. âSuddenly, the next trip, it’s going to be over there. “
Long list of achievements
Fredland’s love for the outdoors started early. He grew up in Southern California, where he was a Boy Scout, and also got involved with the Sierra Club. He could be in the Santa Monica Mountains in a matter of minutes or swimming in the Pacific Ocean in an equally short time.
âI had to decide if I was an ocean guy or a mountain guy – and the mountains won,â said Fredland. âGoing up the mountain was something special. “
He continued his mountain explorations in Utah while attending Weber State University. There he instilled his love of hiking and mountaineering in his fellow students.
âThe first thing I noticed about him when I met him in college (was that) he knew exactly where the trail was, he knew how steep the terrain was,â said Jeff Gray, who met Fredland in college and climbed Trinity Mountain with him. August 4.
With the know-how of Fredland, the friends would go on frequent expeditions in the Wasatch chain.
âWe were in the mountains seven days a week, either in canyons or on top of peaks,â Gray said. âWhen it snowed, we went to the desert mountains. “
After college, Fredland worked as a manager for Kmart and moved across the West, spending time in Bend, Oregon; Casper, Wyoming; and Tucson, Arizona, among others.
At each location, he made a point of exploring the nearby mountains. A self-proclaimed “peakbagger” (Fredland’s license plate even says PKBAGR), he methodically recorded each climb in a series of notebooks that now serve as a scrapbook of his accomplishments.
Their pages contain photographs, reflections, and descriptions of peaks like Picacho del Diablo, the highest point in Baja California; Castle Rock in Oregon (“It’s an Island in the Sky”) and the Sierra Nevada Range, which is Fredland’s favorite.
Fredland is Idaho’s “Jonny Register”
Fredland’s prolific climbs extend to Idaho, where he has lived since 1988. This is how he met another climber who accompanied him on his ascent of Trinity Mountain: Tom Lopez, author of “Idaho : A Climbing Guide âand founder of the site by the same name.
âI was climbing peaks in the Trinity Mountains and the first two I did I found cookie box records,â Lopez recalls in a phone interview. â(Jon has) left logs everywhere, always in boxes of cookies. I saw the name, so when I got home I looked on Facebook and found it.
The two have been climbing together ever since, Fredland leaving cookie box logs – logbooks that climbers must sign when they reach a summit – along the way. Gray jokingly calls Fredland “Jonny Register,” a play about Johnny Appleseed.
For Fredland, registers were a way to make his mark.
“Over here, if you find some of these records, there’s a good chance I’m the guy who put them there,” he said.
He was inspired by the famous mountaineer Norman Clyde, who set records and made his first climbs around the Sierra Nevada and other mountain ranges in the mid-1900s.
âYou climb a hard mountain that takes four days to get toâ¦ and at the top here is a little pile of rocks and a little box of foil (with a register that says) Norman Clyde,â said Fredland. “When you see that, you just say ‘Yeah buddy, sign me up for that.’ So maybe someone will find mine in 2120 and say, “Who is this guy?” “
His friends believe that Fredland will be remembered for more than his records at the top.
âI doubt that many people make 3,000 climbs. That puts him in a fairly small group of people, âLopez said.
âI felt great for Jon (climbing Trinity Mountain),â Gray said. âI knew Jon had put his heart and soul into climbing mountain peaks. That’s quite an accomplishment – 3,000 peaks in one lifetime.
Fredland said the support of his friends made the summit of Trinity Mountain special, but a month later he has already taken the leap. Since its 3000th summit, it has climbed more than a dozen additional mountains.
âIt’s really just another summit along the way,â he said.