Alumnus Profile

Peak Experience

Zack atop Gateway Knob in Alsek Lake, with the Saint Elias Mountains in the background. “Watching the icebergs surf the boundaries between current and wind is a great way to spend a morning.” 

Zack Treisman ’99

Zack Treisman ’99, who teaches math at Western State Colorado University, spent this past summer in Alaska on a solo climb up Denali—the highest mountain peak in North America. It was an adventure that demanded close attention to reality in terms of preparation and execution. Zack drove his VW van to Denali National Park and was transported by plane to the base camp of Denali. “The flight into the range traverses over many miles of flat terrain, braided with rivers and patched with thick forest opening into pale green meadows and bogs,” he wrote in his blog. “The Alaska Range runs southwest to northeast, with the massive bulk of Denali posted in the middle of a vast array of glaciers, peaks, ice, and rock. As we approach the range, this flat terrain becomes hills that quickly give way to angular juts of rock rising from a slowly flowing landscape of ice and gravel.” His adventure, to build memory, he says, was a return to his birth state, but “really an exploration of a new place.” The journey up to the summit, 20,320 feet, required hauling 100 pounds of gear and food. It afforded breathtaking views and physical exertion, as well as the challenge to integrate, in some way, with the community of skiers and hikers traversing the mountain. View spectacular images and read more at Zack's website.