The Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund Advisory Committee advises and supports Colorado College on program direction and development, and allocation of resources related to the Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund.
Committee members include a collection of experienced mountaineers, boaters, outdoorspeople, academics, outdoor educators and accomplished managers from the private and non-profit sectors. The Advisory Committee includes Ritt's family members, friends of Ritt and past Ritt Fund grant recipients, including:
Kirk Kellogg is Ritt Kellogg’s brother and a founder of the Ritt Kellogg Fund. He is Senior Managing Partner of the Performance Group, a Wall Street specialist trading firm.
Lee Kellogg is Ritt Kellogg’s sister and a founder of the Ritt Kellogg Fund.
Colby Coombs '89
After surviving the tragic accident that claimed Ritt Kellogg in 1992, Colby Coombs founded the Ritt Kellogg Fund in 1993 in cooperation with the Kellogg family and Ritt’s dear friends. Colby’s love for climbing and wilderness places led him to instruct courses for NOLS starting at age 19. He guided his first McKinley climb in 1993 for Alaska-Denali Guiding. Colby founded the Alaska Mountaineering School in 1996. He is author of Denali: A Climber's Guide and Alaska: A Climber's Guide, both published by the Mountaineers Press, and frequently used by RKMF Expedition Grant applicants planning trips to Alaska. He lives in Talkeetna, Alaska with his wife Caitlin Palmer and their daughter, Lisle.
Caitlin Palmer has been a Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee member since its inception. Caitlin has taught for a number of wilderness programs, universities, and guiding companies. Caitlin is a director and instructor for Alaska Mountaineering School, which she co-founded. She first summitted Denali on the 1994 Women's Breast Cancer Expedition. Caitlin's second love is pottery and gardening. She lives in Talkeetna, Alaska with her husband Colby Coombs and their daughter.
Chris Allison '90
Mary-Laurence Bevington '90
Mary-Laurence Bevington, often called Mare of the Bear Persuasion, helped found the Ritt Kellogg Fund, and was Ritt's friend. While growing up in Atlanta, Mary played team sports and studied theatre arts. After attaining a BA in English from Colorado College Mary became a yoga teacher and an outdoor educator, which she continues to do presently along with spiritual counseling. She has also taught in the outdoors for Wolfcreek Wilderness, First Ascent, Regis University, Naropa University, and several team building companies such as The Nature Place. Mary is an ordained Reverend, a licensed minister and a life long learner. She has certified in a variety of arts: massage, pilates, animal communication, leadership mastery, relationship coaching, clairvoyance, and her WFR has been current for 27 years. Additionally, she earned an MFA in Theatre in 2007. Mary loves outdoor activities and has basically retired from all but skiing, hiking and clambering. She has fond memories of free and aid climbing on several extended road trips, mountaineering, canyoneering and boating. Mary assisted the Yosemite and Tuolumne search and rescue teams for two seasons, and had her best climbing day soloing Royal Arches and drinking straight from a bubbling ground spring on top. As a Ritt Fund committee member Mary co-created the Program Manager role with Colby, then Program Managed for five years or so. She has some stories about the early days and is open to consulting with Ritt Fund candidates regarding proposal composition. You can find her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Mary lives in Bailey, Colorado with her red Siberian husky, Molly Brown and her friend, Jimmy.
Henry Beyer '90
Henry Beyer currently manages the AMGA’s Guide Track training and certification program. His responsibilities include enrollment, logistics, and staffing of all alpine, rock and ski discipline courses and exams.
Gordy Kito '92
A close friend to Ritt Kellogg, Gordy Kito is a Colorado College graduate, founding member of the Ritt Kellogg Fund and the former (2004-2005) Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee President. Gordy worked as a climbing guide for a number of years and guided for the Alaska Mountaineering School before becoming a climbing ranger in Denali National Park. He served as a member of the Risk Management Advisory board for the University of Alaska Anchorage's outdoor education program and spent much of his youth adventuring around Alaska. Through these Gordy experiences is intimately familiar with the risks and rigors of high altitude, alpine expedition climbing, ice climbing, and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Gordy brings to the Advisory Committee extensive knowledge of expedition safety protocols, wilderness medical practices and leave no trace backcountry ethics. His experience in the National Park Service provides the Advisory Committee with a strong basis for non-profit management and governance. Gordy lives in Washington D.C. with his two sons.
A friend, classmate and fellow adventurer of Ritt's from The Colorado College, Tom Hackett is currently an Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Steadman-Hawkins Clinic in Vail, Colorado. Having climbed throughout North and South America, Asia and beyond, Dr. Hackett has maintained ties within the climbing community and forged new ties in the world of wilderness and sports medicine. He serves as the medical advisor for the American Mountain Guides Association and the Boulder Outdoor Survival School. He is currently the head team physician for the US Snowboard team and the US rafting team and has worked extensively within MLB, the NFL and NBA. He travels extensively with various athletes and teams and teaches cutting edge operative techniques to surgeons around the globe.
David Barnett '96
David Barnett is a two-time Ritt Kellogg Fund recipient, a 1996 Colorado College Graduate and a Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee member since 1998. During the inaugural grant season in 1995, David ascended Mt. Sliverthrone in the Alaska Range. In 1996, his second grant allowed him to ascend the Sultana Ridge of Mt. Foraker also in the Alaska Range. David has more than fifteen years of rock and alpine climbing experience and his record of accomplishment includes adventures in Yosemite, the Bugaboos, the Tetons, the North Cascades, Rocky Mountain National Park the Black Canyon and Canyonlands. David has extensive experience as an outdoor educator, from which he has gained a keen understanding of wilderness safety and environmental ethics. He is currently a fellow of the Natural Resource Ecology Lab based in Fort Collins, Colorado, where his invasive species research work keeps him close to the public and private grant funding process, which is an asset he brings to the Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee. David lives in Jackson, Wyoming with his wife, Geneva Chong and their son.
Jason Hall '98
Jason Hall is a Ritt Kellogg Fund grant recipient, a 1998 Colorado College graduate, and a member of the Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee since 2002. Jason's passion for alpine mountaineering was born in the northern Cascades out of a love for skiing and climbing. This appreciation for time in the mountains has been shared with others through alpine, telemark, and adaptive ski instruction throughout the US. It has been the inspiration for adventures in the Alps and mountains of Alaska and the western US. Jason works as a hydrogeologist throughout the southwest. He lives with his wife, Sharada, and their two boys, Cobin and Haven, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Sam Newbury '02
Sam was born and raised in Alaska and is a 2002 graduate of Colorado College. He had the fortune of going on 3 RKMF trips during his time at CC. He currently works wilderness, mountaineering and canoe courses for NOLS and other outdoor guiding companies. Sam holds a firm belief in the power of spending time in the wild with a small group of individuals.
Bo Parsons '95
Bosier Parsons grew up in the Chicago area, attended The Lawrenceville School and graduated from Colorado College in 1995, thereafter embarking on one of the inaugural RKMF expeditions to the Devils Thumb in Southeast Alaska. He enjoys climbing and skiing (among other things) and has especially enjoyed the wide variety of offerings in the western U.S. and local region. He has skied extensively on Pikes Peak, including multiple descents each of the East Face, the Y Couloir, and all three branches of the W Couloirs. He has also climbed over 40 technical rock routes on Pikes Peak, almost every major formation in Rocky Mountain National Park, including 15 ascents of the Diamond via 8 different routes, the Incredible Hulk twice, Half Dome, The Nose on El Cap, and 15 different routes in the Black Canyon. He has also enjoyed climbing trips to Red Rocks, Zion, the desert, the Winds, and the Tetons. He recently co-founded and is the current President of the Pikes Peak Climbers Alliance, a local climbing organization dedicated to education, stewardship, and preservation of climbing resources in the Pikes Peak region. Bo lives in Colorado Springs with his daughter, Mia, who is an up-and-coming outdoor enthusiast.
John Thomson '07
John graduated from Colorado College in 2007 with a degree in environmental science, and has been a Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee member since 2010. He traces his passion for wilderness to his Minnesota roots, and his education as a climber began at CC with trips to the South Platte, weekends in Black Canyon, and time spent across the desert. While a student John received two Ritt Kellogg Fund Expedition Grants, the first in 2005 for a ski mountaineering trip in California's Sierra Nevada and the second in 2006 for an alpine climbing expedition in British Columbia's Waddington Range. Since graduation John guided mountaineering expeditions and instructed avalanche courses in the Cascades, Alaska, and abroad; returned to school to earn an MBA from Northwestern University; and now works as an investor. John lives in Boulder, Colorado with his wife Elaine.
Libby Bushell '07
Libby graduated from Colorado College in 2007 and has been a Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee member since 2013. She is the founder of HoWL (Homer Wilderness Leaders), a wilderness adventure camp for youth in Alaska. She is a 2-time RKMF Expedition Grant recipient, having received grants to climb the West Buttress of Denali and to ski-mountaineer on Mount Iliamna, an active volcano on the Alaskan Peninsula. Libby currently lives in Wyoming.
Elena Mihaly '07 (Chair)
Elena Mihaly is a 2007 Colorado College graduate and has been a Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee member since 2013. While at CC, Elena received a Ritt Kellogg grant to climb the Lotus Flower Tower in the Cirque of the Unclimbables in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Elena has been climbing for the past 15 years, sticking her paws in cracks all over the world—from the granite walls in the South Platte, to the ochre cliffs of Morocco’s Gorge de Todra, to the monolithic spires of Arenales in Argentina. During college, Elena worked as a rock guide for Colorado Mountain School in Colorado Rocky Mountain National Park. Wanting to give back to the wild places she loves climbing in, Elena pursued a career as an environmental lawyer. She currently works as a clean water and climate change attorney at Conservation Law Foundation, a New England environmental advocacy nonprofit. Elena lives on a 120-acre farm in Vermont with her husband, Justin (CC '06), and her beloved cattle dog, Shubie.
Dan Erwin '96
Dan Erwin graduated from Colorado College in 1996 and joined the Ritt Kellogg Fund Advisory Committee in 2014. Dan found his love for wilderness growing up in mountains of Colorado and enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and all whitewater endeavors. He has kayaked and rafted around the world from Central and South America, Asia and throughout North America. Dan now lives in Durango, Colorado with his wife and two kids, and works as an Emergency Physician and Medical Director for several mountain guide operations and area ski patrol.
Pat Kearney '02
Pat graduated in 2002 and has been on the Ritt Kellogg Advisory Committee since 2014. While at CC, Pat received one Ritt Kellogg grant which fundamentally changed the trajectory of his life and ultimately brought him to NOLS. At NOLS Pat has worked all over the world primarily leading river, back country skiing and hiking courses. He currently lives in Jackson, Wyoming and works as an elementary school teacher and spending as much time as possible outside.
Erik Rieger '12
Erik Rieger graduated from Colorado College in 2012 and joined the Ritt Kellogg Advisory Committee in 2014. During college, he received two Ritt Kellogg expedition grants and was editor of the Colorado College Alpine Journal. His passion for wild places, stories, and photography brought him to become the Assistant Editor & Art Director of the American Alpine Journal and Accidents in North American Mountaineering. Erik spends as much time climbing and being outside as possible and believes that self-sufficient, remote adventures lead to "something." He lives in Ridgway, CO.
Chris Dickson '13
Chris is a Expedition and Education Grant recipient and served briefly as the RKMF Coordinator prior to joining the RKMF Advisory Committee in 2016. Originally from Massachusetts, Chris grew up playing in the outdoors and developed a love for wild places and wild adventures. At CC, he honed his passion for outdoor education by leading trips and training his peers in the realms of backpacking, climbing and skiing. During his junior year, he received an Expedition Grant to climb in the Bugaboos, which solidified his belief in the transformative power of a RKMF expedition. After graduating from CC in 2013, Chris served as the RKMF Coordinator for two years and helped strengthen relationships between the Fund and the College. Now, Chris works as a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and pursues amazing adventures as often as possible.
Dan started easy climbing and mountaineering with the family of a high school friend who took us up to the South Colony Lakes to camp in the rain and climb the fourteeners. He never quite recovered from that experience, he was hooked! Throughout high school we continued to return to the Sangres and did some easy cragging in the Tarryalls every possible weekend. At the end of his first semester at CC Dan went up for a winter ascent of the Crestone Needle, froze my feet and spent second semester in the hospital. He wound up losing some toes, damaging the rest and stopped climbing for about a decade. In the mid-eighties I got back into hiking, mountaineering and then rock and ice climbing in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. Eventually my friends and I got really absorbed in telemarking and spent winter in the resorts and the backcountry, especially on Wolf Creek pass. After the resorts closed we would ski the high peaks until the snow melted and it was time to climb again. After getting caught in an avalanche on Pike’s Peak in April of ’95, Dan was offered a job in the carpentry shop at CC and has been here ever since. He has had to scale back his climbing and skiing considerably in the last decade but still like to get out as much as possible. In the last few years he has spent more time canyoneering and exploring desert environments.
Hilaree O'Neill '95
As the captain of the North Face Athlete Team, Hilaree is a seasoned adventurer with more than 40 expeditions to some of the most remote corners of the globe. Her passion and dedication to climbing and skiing has won her recognition as a 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year. She is the first woman to climb two 8000 meter peaks, Everest and its neighboring peak Lhotse, in a single 24-hour period. Hilaree also completed the first-ever ski descent of Lhotse. Born and raised in the Northwest, Hilaree began skiing at age 3 in the Cascade Mountains. Today, her favorite mountain town is Telluride, CO, a place where she raises her two boys and is fortunate to call home.
Tim Barker '06
Grace Brofman '13
Grace graduated from Colorado College in 2013, and spent two years exploring the country. She guided rafting, mountaineering and hiking in Alaska, worked at the Outdoor Academy in North Carolina and at a winery before succeeding Chris as RKMF Coordinator. After two more great years in Colorado Springs she decided it was time for another change, and so she left Outdoor Education to work for Outstanding in the Field, a company that sets up farm-to-table dinners across the US and Canada. Grace now lives in Boulder, CO and gets outside as much as she can!
Emily Stifler Wolfe '02
As an English major on the Creative Writing track, Emily Stifler Wolfe wrote her CC fiction assignments longhand, by headlamp, on the way home from after-class climbing missions to Turkey Rocks. Since then she's continued the habit, hammering out newspaper deadlines on the drive home from the Gallatin Canyon and filing magazine stories from Yosemite. A former professional rescuer, she has climbed both El Cap and the Grand Teton five times, established first ascents in Montana, Wyoming, Alaska and Utah, and skied peaks around the Greater Yellowstone. While at CC Emily received two Ritt Fund grants, which took her to Peru and Idaho's Sawtooth Range. Now based in Bozeman, Montana, she works as a freelance writer and serves on the board of the local avalanche center.
John Nestler '16
John Nestler is a three-time Ritt Kellogg Memorial Fund grant recipient. These trips took him kayaking on the Tatshenshini/Alsek Rivers (2014), sea kayaking and climbing in Newfoundland (2014), and kayaking on the South Nahanni River (2015). These trips were a formative part of John’s college experience, and cemented an interest in planning and documenting wilderness expeditions through various forms of media. John’s expertise lies primarily in whitewater as well as mountain biking, and he has pursued these sports throughout the country. Notable personal expeditions include a 27-day solo self-support trip through the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, and a solo bikepack of the Colorado Trail. John currently teaches adaptive skiing in Breckenridge for the BOEC during the winter months, and guides multi-day raft trips in Oregon during the summer. John is attending medical school in the future with the goal of pursuing a career in emergency medicine.