Willis Willhoit Photo Member #: 68
Member Year: 1986
Willis Willhoit
Bio Summary
Community Activity Summary
Bill Willhoit has been involved in numerous non-profits and community service organizations over the last 50 years. In his words, "all have contributed to who I am, but none are more unique than the AdAmAn Club."
Occupation Summary
Practiced Small Animal Veterinary Medicine for 48 years
AdAmAn Service
Member since 1986. Past President from 1995 to 2000
Hiking, climbing, fishing, photography, retriever training, waterfowl hunting, upland bird hunting and most important.....grandchildren.
Climbing Experience Summary
Bill has climbed 48 of Colorado's fourteeners plus a good number of the twelve and thirteen thousand foot peaks. He also has years of backpacking to high passes and lakes. He was basic snow climbing instructor for the Colorado Mountain Club for several years. He became proficient in back country skiing which lead to several winter assents and an annual trip in January to a back country hut in either the 10th Mountain or Braun Hut system for 18 years.


Bio Detail
Community Activity Detail
Rocky Mountain Sertoma.  Past president.

Colorado Springs Area Veterinary Society.  Member since 1971 and past president.

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.  Board member for eight years and President of the Board in 2000.

AdAmAn Club.  The 68th member (1986) and past President from 1995 to 2000.

Issac Walton League.  Member since 2005.  Board member for four years and past President for two years. 

Occupation Detail
After graduation from Colorado State University in 1970, I started my career as a veterinarian in Southern California where I worked for a small animal practice in Marina del Rey.  After one year in California I knew Colorado was where I belonged.  In the Spring of 1971, I was hired by Bijou Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, and made the move.  Within 12 months I became a partner in the practice and continued as an owner and practitioner for another 46 years.  Veterinary medicine and Colorado Springs have been very good to me.  Both were choices I will never regret.
Climbing Experience Detail
48 of the Colorado fourteeners.  Some multiple times by different routes.  Pikes peak 28 times.

Mount Rainier by the Tahoma Glacier route.

Mount Robson, Canada.  The climb was aborted at the glacier base camp due to unstable snow conditions.

Too many high lakes and sub-14,000 ft peaks to list.......which means I can't remember them all.


Memories From First Climb
Barr camp in my early years was a rustic experience.  No caretakers, warm fires, spaghetti dinners, or pancakes for breakfast.  When we arrived the first order of business was gather firewood and get the stove going.  The cabin was drafty and warmed slowly.  We brought our own back packing stoves and cooked individual meals. I was well prepared for this by my mentors.  What I couldn't really anticipate was the up-close and personal experience of lighting 6 inch bombs (fireworks) from a kneeling position next to a large steel and sand bunker.  I had never been any closer to real fireworks than the 4th of July at Memorial Park.  Well, let me tell you, the ignition and concussion plus the thrill of the bombs bursting 500 feet over my head were beyond description.  Throw in an occasional ground burst (defective bomb) and you've just been to the world's best New Years Eve party.  Great fun and camaraderie was shared by all.  I was hooked!
Memories From First Member Year
Heavy snow on Pikes Peak is uncommon in late December.  In most years the trail is icy, requires some trail breaking but generally packed thanks to the steady traffic on Barr trail during the fall and early winter.  EXCEPT, the year I was the new member.  Several days before the climb a significant storm dropped 18 to 24 inches of snow below the "A frame" shelter in the area known as Dismal Forest.  This was important to me in that traditionally the new member leads the climb and breaks trail.  There were drifts that were thigh deep (I'm 6' 4") and very difficult to negotiate.  Fortunately, I was able to trade the trail breaking duties with other fit members and guests.  Overall, this was a very memorable climb and a real team effort.
Memories of Family
As with all of the members and guests our families join us for the pre-climb breakfast and the short drive to the trail head.  There were always lots of hugs and kisses from my terrific wife and three daughters.  As the years passed I would regularly find little notes of affection hidden deep in my backpack and small stuffed animals "on loan" from my daughters.
Favorite Memories from Climbing Fourteeners
I consider both Bob Stafford and Daryl Hickey as my mentors.  Both were terrific fun on the trail and always had a smile and a joke.  It could be 5 degrees with 30 mph wind in your face, fingers and toes near freezing, and from the trail above or below Bob or Daryl would yell, "Willhoit, how is your fun meter?"  You know, one can give the finger in a mitten, and the recipient thinks you are waving!
Memories from Favorite Mountain Climb
Mount Rainier Washington. Colorado is wonderful, but there is nothing like a major glacier climb. The weather, crevasses, crampons, ropes, route finding and technique are unique. Danger is everywhere for the careless. A successful climb is a real thrill for adrenalin junkies.
Memories of Favorite Gear
Mountaineering equipment is so well made that it often lasts forever. For that reason, I tend to keep it forever. Why have I used the same Lowe backpack for 40 years? Its like my best friend, full of memories and never lets me down.
Memories of Worst Gear Failure
Have you ever used ski/mountaineering goggles over glasses? Well, talk about failure, they are fogged more often than clear. Someday someone will design a pair that really works.