Hello! My name is Brien Bower and I hail from a small town in the backwoods of Northern California. Growing up, my mom and I lived among the trees and I spent most of my time climbing anything I could and falling in love with the outdoors. My first exposure to backpacking was at the age of 11, when my mom took me on a one-night trip to Island Lake in Northern California. It was there that I realized the immense beauty of alpine lakes and towering granite cliffs—I was hooked. I credit my love for the North Cascades to my dad, who took me on the Seven Passes Loop when I was a teenager and showed me countless other peaks and trails throughout my formative years, such as Alta Peak.

Dome Peak in Glacier Peak Wilderness area in Northwestern Washington is one of my favorite trails and one of my most recent accomplishments is completing the Ptarmigan Traverse in July 2016. For me, backpacking is a valuable way to do some personal reflection while appreciating the beauty that nature has to offer. Shortly after discovering my love for backpacking, I began bouldering at a gym. I saved my allowance to buy my first harness—a $25 Black Diamond Alpine Bod—and to this day I still use the first chalk bag my mom gave me. Climbing has been a way for me to challenge my physical and problem-solving abilities. While I like to get my workout at the climbing gym, I most enjoy climbing outside. The most entertaining route I’ve climbed is a 5.8 at Castle Rock and my favorite project has been the route I’m establishing on Gunn Peak. Unlike backpacking, I prefer to climb with friends and bring groups out to the crag with me. Backpacking and climbing keep me sane. I start to go crazy when I haven’t been able to get outside in a while (my girlfriend can vouch for that). I will continue to get outside for hiking and climbing for as long as I am able.

Currently, I live in Antigua, Guatemala where I spend my days climbing some nearby volcanos as a guide. In my free time, I clean and establish new climbing routes in the area.

On top of Acatenango one of the Volcanoes I guide in Guatemala

Rock Climbing in Guatemala

On the Ptarmigan Traverse in 2016

At the high point of the PCT in ’15