A physicist by training, I received my bachelor's degree from Princeton University in 1994 and
my Ph.D. in experimental atomic physics from the University of Washington in 2001. My professional work uses
tabletop atomic physics experiments to investigate fundamental symmetries of nature, which is a very small but
fascinating subfield within the vast scope of modern physics. Basically, it's playing with lasers and optics
and trapped atoms while trying to measure some of the same physical parameters as huge accelerators do, but at
less than one-thousandth of the cost, via a careful choice of atomic systems and experimental techniques.
But this website is clearly about interests far outside the lab. Since childhood, I have been
fascinated by volcanoes and glaciers, and passionate about a single sport, alpine skiing. Although I was raised
on the volcano- and glacier-less East Coast and learned to ski on a steady diet of man-made hardpack, since
moving to Seattle in 1994 I have had the good fortune to be able to combine these interests in the
perpetually-snowcapped wonderland of the Pacific Northwest mountains. My first ski mountaineering trip in June
1996, to Camp Muir on Mount Rainier, changed my life forever. The result is this Ski
Mountaineering and Climbing Site, which was founded in late 1997. See the Site
News page for a more complete history of this website.
As of 2005, I have been downhill skiing for 24 years, and actively ski mountaineering for 9 years.
Since 1999, I have been researching and writing a comprehensive ski mountaineering guidebook to the Cascade
volcanoes of California, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. A preliminary version is available on this
website at Skiing the Cascade Volcanoes. I have skied at least one
route on all 28 of the Cascade volcanoes included in the book, with 17 of those skied from the summit including
Mounts Rainier and Shasta (roughly 20 out of the 28 are skiable from the true summit). Overall, I have skied or
climbed over 120 routes on these volcanoes, and I am aiming to complete and publish the book by the late 2005.
Beyond the Cascades, I have also skied from the summit of 5 Colorado 14ers and climbed 2 other California 14ers
on foot. See the Trip Reports section for more info. Long-term recreational
goals include attempting to ski many of the 250+ volcanoes listed in the Skiing
the Pacific Ring of Fire and Beyond section of this website, perhaps starting with the volcanoes of Alaska,
Mexico, and Chile over the next few years.
For more information about me and and my professional interests, please visit my
personal home page.
The author on the summit of Mount Rainier
in July 1999, just before a
of the Emmons-Winthrop Glaciers.
(Photo by Tom Demshki) <click to enlarge>
NOTE: As of January 23, 2005, this website has been moved to a new web host,
Please notify me of any major problems or other errors on the website, and I will attempt to fix them as soon as
possible. Hopefully the transition will be seamless and invisible.
Contact Info: My current email address is
I apologize to those who have tried to contact me at this email address over the past couple
of years, as my response has often been extremely slow or even nonexistent. Since I have often been out of town
for long periods of time, this email account would get flooded by hundreds (and eventually thousands) of
messages, and I have never quite managed to catch up with the backlog. I am making an effort to improve the
situation. My goal is to try to respond within one week to any website-related email, although it may sometimes
take longer if I am away from internet access for an extended period of time. Note that I may soon be forced to
change to a new email address in order to attempt to avoid the crushing deluge of spam at this address. At that
time, the new email address will be posted here as an image file and will no longer be a clickable link.