Tree Top Flyer's Profile

Name: Tree Top Flyer
Level / Points:

26,350 points
I am a: Hiker/Backpacker - I enjoy both hiking and backpacking and have no preference
I go hiking: Several times a month
I usually go on hikes that are: Moderate
Gender: Male
Birthplace: Southeast Tennessee
Country: United States
State: Georgia
City: Savannah
Postal Code/ZIP: 31405
Biography: 37, Married 15 years, father of one.

"Tree Top Flyer", that's my trail name because it's what I do for a living as a US Army AH-64D Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter Pilot. I have been in the Army for 17 years, joining up right after a failed semester of college. I began as an Air Traffic Controller, but decided that flying choppers would be more fun than just talking to them. I was right! Now I'm an Instructor Pilot and love it even more. We have been stationed in AL, TN, NC, GA (currently) and also overseas in Germany, South Korea, Bosnia, Africa, and Iraq (best year of my Army career in Operation Iraqi Freedom III, 2005), OIF VIII and VIIII 2008,09).

I grew up in the knobs of South East Tennessee close to the Hiwassee River, Cherokee National Forest, Starr Mtn, and The Ocoee River. Growing up in the sticks without any siblings gave me ample opportunity to become familiar with the woods and mtns in the area. During the Summer, i would be days in the backcountry with a cane pole for a fishing rod and a .22 Rifle. I hiked, camped, bouldered, and climbed rocks without the benefit of gear and was called a Mountain Man by my classmates. I have walked to school in the snow both ways on more than one occasion.

These days, I still have that exploring drive in me which is not necessarily shared with the same amount of zeal by my wife but she tolerates me very well and I think she secretly enjoys the hell out of it. When we take leave, "vacation", we spend a lot of time on the trails, hiking and camping.

My ideal wish list would be:
1. Hike to Mt Everest Base Camp
2. Thru hike the AT immediately after retiring from the Army.
3. Go West and spend a while backpacking and climbing all these moutains I see in the magazines. I currently have a list of about 10 on my to do list.
4. Earn an Environmental Science Degree
My Best Hike: Austrian Alps
Best Hike Description: I took a hut hopping tour of the Austrian Alps while stationed in Germany back in the 90's. So far, this is the most beautiful place I've ever seen. We got lost and ended up in a snow storm but it was awesome!
My Worst Hike: Austrian Alps
Worst Hike Description: It was the best until...we got above the tree line in November. Heavy snow started falling and the shorts and long sleeve t-shirts we were told we should only bring didn't keep us very warm. After wandering around for several hours, our guide decided to admit that this was his first hike in 20 yrs and that this was his first trip to the Alps. The guy had to be at least 103 and he soon was worse for wear. Then came the shimmying along the cliff via a steel cable and bouldering over spots where the trail had given way. 1 ft of snow later and freezing we finally happened upon a hut that saved our necks. I personally slept inside some Austrians nasty long underwear as the rest of the group took all of the blankets. We left the owner 50 DM the next morning and spent the next two days working our way back out of the Alps and finally to our stopping point. I was late for work, got in trouble and the excuse of getting lost in the Alps wasn't good enough.
A Memorable Trail Moment: The boy is 6 months old, got the first snow in NC, decided to suit the boy up in a teddy bear suit and strapped him in the stroller, hiked six miles w/ said stroller that isn't meant for a moderate hike, kid slept the entire way and looked cute doing it. Wore too warm of clothes, drank all the water on the way there, thirst to almost death the whole way back...wife laughed at me for getting us in this mess.
Dumbest Trail Move: In my opinion, headphones. What's the point of being in nature if you can't hear it over your tunes? Also a good way not to hear that bear who's about to .....well you get the point.
Trails That I Want To Hike: Basecamp to Everest, Patagonia, Denali, Antarctica er..all cold..uh Key West, Cuba. Climbing to do list: Georgia Brasstown Bald 4784 ft- Complete 24DEC06 Tennessee Clingmans Dome 6643 ft North Carolina Mount Mitchell 6684 ft Maine Mount Katahdin 5267 ft New Hampshire Mount Washington 6288 ft Nevada Boundary Peak 13140 ft New Mexico Wheeler Peak 13161 ft Utah Kings Peak 13528 ft Colorado Mount Elbert 14440 ft California Mount Whitney 14505 ft Washington Mount Rainier 14410 ft Idaho Borah Peak 12662 ft Oregon Mount Hood 11239 ft Wyoming Gannett Peak 13804 ft Alaska Denali 20320 ft Mount Everest Base Camp 17600 ft The 46 Peaks, Adirondack State Park, 44 about 4,000 ft. Okay, those are some lofty goals but I find that it's easier to lower a goal, rather than regret not having any in life. First thing's first, I gotta lose about 20-30 more lbs, get my back straightened out, and convince the 'trail boss" I'm not going through my mid-life crisis early..oh and rob a bank to pay for the gear.

Tree Top Flyer's Hikes

Tree Top Flyer's Trip Reports