“We made it!!!” Brothers Dirk and Seth Anderson summited all 58 points over 14 thousand feet in Colorado finishing on San Luis Peak August 24, 2019.
We are shure there are many Colorado 14er finsishers on Summit Post, but we feel like sharing our story as it is so intertwined with our lives. Instead of hurrying throiugh our goal we made it a life long goal and it inspired our reason to live, and luckliy even our way of living - of designing outdoor gear!
A 29 year long term goal for us as brothers to complete together. This was a 39 year journey for Dirk, and 40 to complete climb all of them as brothers. At the time around 500 climbers had achieved the feat, and the count was 54 summits before four more high points were added to the goal. Much has changed since the climbing goal began.
THE ANDERSON BROTHERS CLIMBING VOW
The brothers vowed to climb all the 14ers after an awe inspiring and climactic weather day while climbing Mount Sneffels September of 1990. The experience that day sparked our desire to create versatile outdoor gear called Loki Outerwear that strives to allow climbers and everyday users to carry less gear that changes with the weather.
Dirk climbed San Luis at 14 years old in 1979 with Roger Vanetta’s church group. Dirk took me up Mount Sneffels in 1990 when I was 16. We vowed to climb them all together on that day. We were inspired by the drastic changing weather to invent Loki Outerwear.
Over 29 years we have saved this 14er goal to come home to while climbing Denali, Aconcagua, Rainier, Whitney, Gannett, Tetons and many, many outdoor and business adventures.
DISSASTERS ON THE MOUNTAIN SIDE…
CALIFORNIA CLIMBING FALL – ONE BROKEN LEG
This goal was met with extra challenges along the way. Seth thought he was invincible until a 2003 attempt to climb three technical fourteeners in one day in California he fell 30 feet to a ledge breaking his ankle before Dirk caught him saving him from a 500 plus foot fall to certain death. Dirk helped repel Seth 2000 feet down to the Palisade Glacier where Search and Rescue extracted Seth with a helicopter.
DENALI – SUCCESS!
In 2005 the pair summited Denali 20,3020’ the high point of North American in Alaska. At that time no siblings had climbed the high points of the all seven continents.
ACONCACUA – ONE SUMMIT – ONE ALTITUDE ILLNESS
The pair thought with one hard one down they might have a shot at being the first brothers to make it. In February 2008 Dirk summited Aconcagua, South America’s highest point at 22, 841’. That same trip Seth suffered pulmonary edema at 14,600 feet and had to descend. The accomplishment was great for Dirk but sobering that altitude illness can strike anyone at any time.
GRAND MESA THUNDERBIRD AVALANCHE – TWO BROKEN LEGS! OUCH.
In 2010 Seth skied the Thunderbird Couloir on the West Face of Grand Mesa above Palisade, Colorado. He was caught in an avalanche the slid nearly 500 feet over three cliffs to a ledge. He suffered two broken femurs and was helicoptered off and survived occluded arteries and five surgeries and a many year recovery, there was considerable doubt if Seth would walk again or climb or ski mountains again. After years of steady progress Seth and Dirk began climbing peaks again.
August 23, 2018 Dirk summited Challenger Point completing his personal goal to summit all the fourteeners!
ANDERSON BROTHERS 14ER FINISHERS!!! - What's next???
YES!!! Brothers Dirk and Seth Anderson summited all 58 points over 14 thousand feet in Colorado finishing on San Luis Peak August 24, 2019. What's next... What's next for you? Maybe we can join in your adventures. WE have found adventures are best when shared!
SAD BUT MEANINGFUL UPDATE JUST 1 WEEK AFTER COMPLETING OUR GOAL, DIRK PASSED AWAY, BUT DID NOT LEAVE WITHOUT LEAVING HIS MARK FOR GOOD;
Douglas Dirk Anderson, the co-creator and co-owner of Loki Gear passed away on 8/31/2019 going 80 feet off a cliff while backcountry motorcycling on Bangs Canyon section of Tabeguache Trail above Grand Junction, Colorado.
Dirk was the most heroic person we ever knew.
Dirk was born June 18, 1965 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Douglas Hawley Anderson and Janice Elaine Schnell.
Dirk was raised until the age of 14 in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
He exemplified the best quality’s any man could ever hope to be blessed with. He was tall, handsome, athletic, intelligent, kind, caring and intensely compassionate to all.
He was a voracious reader his whole life, and read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica library before he was eight years old, just because he wanted to. Like his father he scored 165 on an IQ test, making him a literal genius, and it showed.
He was a talented athlete at a very young age. He learned to ski at three, learned to ride motorcycle at seven. He was skilled in technical and long distance Trials Motorcycle riding in the late 70’s and early 80’s. He set aside his passion for riding serious terrain on motorcycles while raising his family. He dreamed of riding again later in life. Dirk played on a 14 year old soccer league in Carbondale when he was only seven.
In 1978 the Anderson Family moved to Grand Junction, Colorado. The family now included his seven year younger Down Syndrome brother Jared Joshua Anderson born 8/7/1972 and nine year younger Seth Isaiah Anderson born 8/22/1974.
He had a hard time adjusting to the new town but he soon met life long friends and the love of his life Theresa Jill Neitzert Anderson who he later married for thirty years and had a loving family with two beautiful daughters Acadia Mae Anderson (Wilson) and Cierra Hope Anderson with Grandchild Valla Mae Wilson and a Grandson on the way.
He was not a fan of high school culture. He was a defender of underdogs from school bullies. He had intense hand-eye coordination and mastered arcade games, once winning Colorado state championship for “Stargate Defender” playing for 17 hours straight.
He was a natural athlete and was star player number 32 on the Central High School Basketball team. He played saxophone and was a solo vocalist representing the Grand Valley. Dirk was offered full ride scholarships for singing and for basketball.
Dirk was a tremendous golfer. He learned from his father Doug Anderson as early as skiing. He grew up playing and was on the high school team. He won long drive competitions. He played annual golf tournaments with his father Douglas and friends Mike Thompson and Calvin Schlisner for his whole life. The father son team won two-man best ball tournaments, including one that Craig Stadler the “Walrus” had also won.
Instead of going straight after high school to college Dirk wanted to travel and spent a gap year traveling and working. He soon entered into the medical field after earning an associates degree to become an ex-ray technician. He spent his first year of radiology work in Sarasota Florida.
He would later turn his patient care advocacy focused medical career to help the greater community in ways that few can truly appreciate. He rose from being a tech, to be the manager for the Cat Scan department, then the entire diagnostic program, then ushered in a new era of electric records keeping for diagnostic and then the entire hospital.
He helped Saint Mary’s be recognized as one of the top three hospitals to implement “paperless” records keeping, while convincing area health care providers to help patients across the system more efficiently. He cared, and acted on his passion for others with his work.
Dirk moved back to Grand Junction in September 1990 having missed the mountain and desert scenery of Colorado. Dirk took his then sixteen year old brother to climb the fourteen thousand foot Mount Sneffels. This experience inspired Dirk to invent and later patent and Co-own the outdoor business Loki Outerwear. The brothers also vowed to climb all of the 58 peaks over 14,000’ together. The now famous goal of climbing all the “14ers.” Along the 29 years Dirk also climbed 23,800’ Aconcagua in Argentina, 20,320’ Denali in Alaska, Rainer, Grand Teton, Whitney, 80 mile high alpine climb of Gannett Peak in the Wind River Mountains. He self taught himself to rock climb hard 5’11 routes and intense high alpine climbs.
Dirk was inspired by mountains and travel. He took our humble family on the greatest adventures that few would dream possible in a lifetime. He had been to every state in the US but Arkansas. He went to Europe many times, South America and Asia. His missions were to learn more about the world and share the experience with loved ones.
Through Dirk’s persistent business acumen, work in health care and inventions with Loki he brought our family into a sustainable economic status. His purpose of financial success was not for personal gain but to care for his family’s long term well-being and for others in need.
On August 30, 2019, One week after completing his goal of climbing the Colorado 14ers with his younger brother Seth, Dirk went on what he intended to be a backcountry motorcycle ride. Dirk fell down an eighty foot cliff in Bangs Canyon above Grand Junction. He survived the initial fall but quickly succumbed to internal injury’s.
Dirk, We owe Dirk the highest honor and reverence and are ever thankful to have had such a truly bold and heroic man in our lives. Long live the Dirk.
Douglas Dirk Anderson.
Dirk Anderson is Survived by Wife Theresa AndersonDaughters Acadia Wilson, Son-in-law Dustin Wilson, Granddaughter Valla Wilson. Cierra Anderson and Logan Moody. Father Douglas Anderson Mother Janice AndersonBrother Seth Anderson
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MORE ON OUR JOURNEY BELOW-
I (Seth) wrote this in 2007 about our mountain journey and ambitions at the time…
Setting goals gives a Colorado boy like me something to live for. My goal is to climb (and sometimes ski when it is sane) every peak over 13,580 feet in my fair state, a total of 200 benchmarks. I think I’m young at just under thirty-three, but my knee tinges with every upward step I take in the mountains. Yet I persist toward my goal, as long as there is open space in the mountains, there is sanity.
My original goal was set in stone; 1990 on the summit of 14,150 foot Mount Sneffels . My elder brother Dirk and I swore to summit all fifty-four of Colorado ’s 14,000’ peaks together. There were five-hundred Coloradoans to accomplish the feet in that time. I thought it would take forever. I was right and I love it! Every peak has been reached ceremoniously together; our toes on the highest rock topped with a jubilant high five. It’s serious stuff. Since the birth of our goal Dirk gradually took on a real world existence…escalating corporate job, faithful wife, challenging children, otherwise known as American standardization; accompanied by less time for adventure with little brother Sephie. Don’t get me wrong, Dirk is my inspiration for the my mountain goals and even my entrepreneurial foray into outdoor business with Loki Outerwear. Dirk is a patented inventor is a business success, reliable around the house, everyone in our family is proud of Dirk.
The Anderson duo have climbed their share of interesting peaks and learned some ropes outside of our homeland; Mount Rainier, the Grand Teton, Pico de Orizaba in Mexico , and Denali in Alaska among them. But, we have had six of Colorado ’s fourteeners left to climb for nearly as many years. Some intensely athletic folks have climbed all of the fourteeners in less than two weeks. I’m not interested in that kind of torture. The mountains have come to be my main source of exercise and mental release, I must climb on... Around the turn of the century, when Dirk couldn’t escape as much, I sought to maintain my mountain rambles. I began repeating fourteeners in order to not break the “brothers first” rule. Grand Junction locals and friends Tom Ela and Chuck Bodie finished their fourteeners and introduced me to the Martin and Garrett “Green Book” by that guides the way to climbing the highest 200 peaks of Colorado.
The 166 peaks that populate Colorado’s “other” high grounds have the unlucky distinction of being at thirteen thousand feet. There are many that are uneventful in profile, but the ascent is almost always a lung and leg buster. Sublime beauty mixes with exhaustion for a special intoxication that some like me crave. Afternoon thunderstorms in the summer and near perpetual winter darkness keep forays in the high peaks excitingly brief. There are thrilling names on the list that make the peak bagger and photographer swoon; The Wham Ridge of Vestal, North Face of Arrow, Pigeon and Turret, Jagged Peak, Ice Mountain and the Apostles, Thunder Pyramid, Cathedral, and many more prizes to eye. Due do their isolation, lack of trails and limited visitation, the climbing effort is often greater to reach these summits. These same difficulties make the goal more intriguing and enhanced understanding of Colorado ’s geography. Clean thin air and rare aesthetic beauty are the bonus. Due to low air pressure, climbing at altitude forces one’s body to purify and streamline movements and function to the essential. One misconception I witness in climbing is that conquering a mountain is part of the equation. Having been denied as many as four times by one mountain, summiting is not about conquering anything but your own expectations, and hopefully a bit of beer gut a few weekends a year. I am nearly a third of the way to reaching my Colorado goal. I’ve rehearsed the elevation, distance, and relative difficulty of many of the peaks I’ve yet to climb. Before anyone claims greatness on my part for merely setting high goals, let it be known that many have achieved higher and more numerous mountain goals. As I understand the Koontz couple of Grand Junction had summated Colorado ’s 200 highest peaks in the early nineties, usually with heavy leather boots. Guide book author Jennifer Roach just comleted all points in Colorado over 13,000 feet. Mike Garret and Bob Martin , authors of the “Guide to Colorado ’s highest 200 Peaks” have reportedly climbed every "independent point in Colorado over 12,000 feet, along with many high points in Arizona and the contiguous U.S. Do I recommend this grand a goal to others? As much as I love bragging, it’s mostly just hiking, a lot of time and money, tire and boot tread, and lately a lot of gas. On second thought, perhaps I could use some weekend carpooling and save this young fossil some fuel…So all welcome! For dinner, I’m gluten intolerant so how do rice noodles sound on the camp stove? See you at 4 A.M.? Dirk leads on to the summit of Pilot Knob, reputed to be one
To the Top!!!
On a further note of high goals, Dirk and I had a dream goal to climb the highest point each of the world’s seven continents. We are one-seventh of the way having climbed North America’s highest point, Denali (Mount McKinley) at 20,320’. Dirk and I went to Aconcagua where Dirk summited South America’s high point Aconcagua at 22,840’ February 2008. On that trip Seth contracted pulmonary edema and had to descend. This put a damper on our grandiose and ultimately selfish and expensive seven summits plan. Seeing the dangers on Everest increasing from overpopulation on the peak has caused us to reconsider how badly we need to prove our worth at altitudes where humans can’t survive. The views and accomplishments are great goals to reach for, but we feel that adventure can be had right out of our door without wasting such vast resources.
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