Driving Interstate 5 near Medford, you’ve likely seen the high symmetrical pyramid to the east: 9,495-foot Mt. McLoughlin, the tallest Cascades peak between Three Sisters and Mt. Shasta.
On Sept. 15, 80-year-old Art Ekerson, a Rogue Valley resident, summited McLoughlin for the 42nd and final time. He did it with his kids, who he first guided up the peak in 1970, and his adult granddaughter Keely.
It was Keely who tended to Ekerson’s serious head wound after he fell while descending McLoughlin on his 75th birthday in 2010. Four hours later he was airlifted to safety.
Ekerson wanted to climb the mountain one final time at age 80, and he did it with vigor accompanied by his offspring. His 42 ascents spanned 66 years – Ekerson first summited McLoughlin as a 14-year-old Boy Scout. Read more in this Medford Mail Tribune feature.