Forrest Coots is not your average mountaineer. He’s tall, lanky and wears a trucker cap, not quite fitting into his hometown of Mt. Shasta, California, but not completely out of place either. He’s neither a hippie, new age mystic, nor trust-funded dirtbag. He is a high level athlete with a broken heart.
In his twenties, at college, Forrest was on the path to being average. Finishing up his Political Science degree, he believed the future was grad school, a steady income, house and family. Then his younger brother took his own life.
Events of this nature are unfathomable. It is something from which there is no recovery, merely acceptance. The Coots’ family history shifted into Before and After. For Forrest, the only glimmer of peace he could find was through skiing. He reconnected with the sport and took to the freeride circuit with his sister, entering competitions and using that focus to ease the hole in his being. After a couple of years his sister quit, not interested in the pace of the circuit, and soon after Forrest discovered ski touring and mountaineering. In the stillness and raw power of huge undertakings, he found solace.