Area peak named for Anacortes climbing legend Dallas Kloke

The state Natural Resources Board has approved naming a Whatcom County peak for the first man to summit the summit.

Legendary Anacortes climber Dallas Kloke made the first documented ascent of what is now Kloke Peak in 1972.

“This is so well deserved,” said Bud Miller, 87, who spent years traveling and climbing with Kloke. “He was a good climber and a good friend.

“He was so involved in the community and he was a dedicated Christian. He was the foundation of local climbing. Period. And his death was tragic.”

Kloke died in 2010 during a climbing accident in the North Cascades.

The 6,480-foot Kloke Peak is located in the Twin Sisters area of ​​Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

“He was a no-name peak that had a desire to climb and he did,” Miller said. “He deserves to have his name.”

Mazama’s Scott Bingen agrees.

While he met Kloke in about 1993, he said if you were a mountaineer in the Skagit Valley then, you already knew who he was.

“I think it’s a very fitting tribute to a remarkable person and a mainstay of the local climbing scene for decades,” Bingen said. “Even more considering that Dallas had the first ascent of the peak and a long history of explorations in the Twin Sisters range and throughout the North Cascade.”

The name Kloke Peak will be added to the Administrative Code of Washington, and will be sent to the United States Board on Geographic Names for federal review.

The naming of the peak was proposed in 2020. Jason Griffith of Mount Vernon was responsible for the large amount of documents needed for the naming of Kloke Peak.

“Dallas was a friend, mentor, climbing partner and inspiration to many people, including myself,” Griffith said. “He had the energy of people half his age and was always game to go on adventures.”

From the 1960s to the 1980s, Kloke was responsible for 12 new routes in the Twin Sisters area, while burning other routes throughout the Cascades.

When he lived near home, he climbed his beloved Mount Erie and wrote guides detailing the routes he founded.

Mount Erie is where Bingen met Kloke.

“We used to go up there all the time,” he said. “And he was kind enough to take me into the mountains and show me how things are done.”

Kloke taught elementary school in Oak Harbor for 33 years, and after retiring spent a decade as the track and field coach at Anacortes High School.

Kloke also wrote guides.

“Few people knew he also made children’s books,” Griffith said. “When my first son was about 18 months old, Dallas asked about his interests. A few months later, he sent us a customized book about heavy equipment.

Born in Burlington in 1939, Kloke was married to his wife Carolyn for 43 years and raised three children.

Miller recalled a time when he and Kloke were traveling to climb a peak in the Arizona desert. The couple not only beat the setting sun, but the rattlesnakes.

“We had never been here before and had no idea what to expect,” Miller said. “It was imperative that we came back after dark because the place was full of mountain rattlesnakes. They hunt from the heat and are very dangerous. We didn’t want to be out there at night and have to stay put until morning.”

Miller says Kloke was in charge of the hike and the climb, and only describes him as “the man.”

“We went right to the peak, did the climb and came right back,” Miller said. “Nobody has had that little. He’s had that kind of ability.”

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