Jack Donley Photo Member #: 81
Member Year: 1999
Jack Donley
Bio Summary
Community Activity Summary
Jack's parents Jerry and Dorothy Donley were extremely active in their community and church during Jack's formative years. For example Jerry was an Elder and Clerk for First Presbyterian Church for decades and ver active in Kiwanis and pro bono legal services. Dot was the chairman of the Colorado Springs Park board for years. She was the founding member of the Palmer Land Trust. Jack learned that giving back was its own reward and has been active in Colorado Springs throughout his adult life.
Occupation Summary
Jack began working as an ice skate sharpener at Blick's sporting goods in high school. He was a laborer for a local paving company in college, a forest fire fighter, sold sporting goods and waited tables. He then went to law school and has now practiced law in Colorado Springs for over 33 years.
AdAmAn Service
Family, Ice Hockey, Mountain Biking, Fly Fishing, Skiing, Back Packing, Bird Hunting and Beach Sitting
Climbing Experience Summary
Jack began camping and backpacking at an early age. He has back packed and climbed all over Colorado. He has climbed Pikes Peak over 35 times.


Bio Detail
Community Activity Detail
A few of his activities include:Committee Member, United Way Campaign 1990 - 96

Division Chair, Professional, Legal Pikes Peak United Way 1994 

Committee Member, YMCA of the Pikes Peak Region Fund Raising Campaign 1996

Board Member, Community Board of Trustees, Visiting Nurses Association, 1993-96 

Leadership, First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs (Committee Member, $7.5 million Capital Fund Campaign, 1997, Committee member, 4.0 million Stewardship Campaign 1998-99, Chairman, $4.5 million Stewardship Campaign 2000 – 2001, Elder 2005 B 2008, Steering Committee Member, Ministry Master Plan Committee 2006)

Fine Arts Center Gala Committee 2017 - 2020

Member, AdAmAn Club 1999 to present

Occupation Detail
Jack's first job was as an Ice Skate Sharpener at Blick's Sporting Goods on Tejon St. During his college summers he worked as a laborer for Broderick and Gibbons a local paving company. Later in college he worked as an initial attack wildland fire fighter for the Coeur d'Alene National Forest out of Wallace Idaho. After graduating from college he worked briefly a sales person for a sporting goods store called the Jock Shop at the Citadel. In the spring of 1983 he joined the Pike National Forest Hot Shot wildland fire crew and did forest managment and fire fighting throughout that season. That fall, and after applying for law school, he worked for Goldinies, a Restaurant in Bolder. Upon his acceptance to law school he went to work as a law clerk for the law firm his father had started in the 1950s. Once  graduating from law school in 1987 and passing the Colorado Bar exam he began working as a lawyer for that firm, Kane, Donley and Shaffer. He then worked with those lawyers until 2006 when he opened his own firm, Donley Law PC. He is still working in that firm in his solo practice. 
Climbing Experience Detail
Jack began camping and backpacking with his family as a young child. In his high school and college years he spent many nights in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range climbing some of its peaks and climbing peaks in the San Juan Mountain Range. He has climbed dozens of sub-fourteeners and several 5 fourteeners. He climbed Pikes Peak numerous times with the Pike Hot Shots doing maintenance, ridden much of the peak on his mountain bike.


Memories From First Climb

My first climb was in 1980. My then girlfriend's father and his four friends would take me backpacking. One of those guys was AdAmAn Bill Lloyd. He invited me to climb with the club. I was not invited the first year I applied. But the next year I put myself on the wait list and got the call on the 29th. My pack was ready so I climbed.

My most vivid memory was on the peak at midnight, the wind was blowing at 40 to 50 throwing gravel in the air. I  was standing outside the summit house door holding a 8 inch bomb with a three foot fuse hanging down waiting for the currier to grab it and take it to the member at the mortar tube... the one holding the lit flare. I looked out over Colorado Springs glowing in the distance. I then watched how fast the fuses on the bombs burned - like 300 feet per minute. I watched as the bombs exploded in the air. I then saw how some did not always go up but instead landed on the ground sending burning phosphorus everywhere.  

I then realized that if the phosphorus hit the fuse of the bomb I was holding .... well.... 

It was at that moment I realized that this was a tradition I wanted to do the rest of my life. Exhilaration was only one word to describe the feeling.

Memories From First Member Year

It was Y2K. Our wives came up for show for the first and only time because nobody knew for sure what was going to happen at the stroke of midnight. We had a brand new fireworks trailer that the AFA cadets had designed and built. As the new member, I got to shoot the fireworks. When I shot the first three rounds, one of the bombs exploded in the mortar. That blew off the corner of the new trailer. Knowing that "the show must go on" and not seeing any other 'safe' option, I triggered the next three bombs. One of the bombs ripped the lid off of the trailer sending it flying it into the 40 mph wind. Another one apparently caught on a slipped mortar holding u-bolt and only went up 30 or 40 feet. It came back to the ground and exploded there sending colorful burning phosphorus in every direction across the ground. It was spectacular to watch the spray roll off the top of the peak. (Because of our safety protocols, no one was at risk. Instead we were all cheering for the show. From what we were told the fireworks flowing off the face of the peak were quite spectacular.) We finished the show, bundled up the mangled trailer and headed down the peak with the four wheel drive club and the bus that had brought our wives to the top.

As we headed off the top of the mountain my wife leaned over to me and quietly said, "I never should have come up here and seen what you boys were doing."

Memories of Family

My wife and kids always came to the breakfast and kick off. When my son was only 4 months, Doris held him inside of her coat as we stood at the trail head waiting to start our hike. Only Kline's face was poking out from her coat. Bob Jackson, a photographer from the Gazette caught that moment. It showed up on the front page of the paper the next morning. The photo has remained a family favorite.

Favorite Memories from Climbing Fourteeners
I climbed with Jimmy Bates many times in my early days. He was the club photographer and had been an army photographer in WWII. I watched in exhaustion as Jimmy would be running ahead of the team to get the right shot. He would wait for everyone to pass and then do it all again. I remember climbers taking items out of his pack to lighten his load. It was then I realized that this club was about being part of a team. 
Memories from Favorite Mountain Climb
My favorite mountain is Little Guard in northern Idaho. I was stationed in a look out on the mountain's top overseeing a large portion of the eastern Idaho panhandle. From throwing my frisbee off the top to my dog, listening to the elk bugle early in the morning, making fresh picked huckleberry pancakes into the unending 24/7 view, it is a place I will never forget.
Memories of Favorite Gear
SMART WOOL! The first time I climbed with Smart Wool was the first time I didn't get a chill. Magic stuff.
Memories of Worst Gear Failure
The frozen tube to my camel back water bag just above A-Frame. The thought of that climb without water was daunting. Placing the put the whole bag inside my coat solved the problem. I have since fashioned a forward facing pack for carrying the water on my front.