Katie Wear of VMS has climbing ambitions | VailDaily.com

Katie Wear of VMS has climbing ambitions

Cindy Ramunno
Preston Utley/Vail DailyVail Mountain School senior Katie Wear's fondest memories throughout high school include camping out in the wilderness " and making friends for life.

Vail Mountain School senior Katie Wear is one extreme young lady. She’s backpacked across the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, Costa Rica and Washington. She’s even climbed Mount Rainier.

In the eighth grade, she camped out in a tent for three weeks during a trip where campers cooked their own meals.

And, Wear says, she loved every minute of it.

Once she started backpacking, Wear says, she just couldn’t stop.

“I’ve made some very close friends from all over the United States,” she says. Most of Wear’s experiences were through the Moondance organization. She says the people she has met and befriended will be friends for life.

Wear has also volunteered for the Special Olympics for the past two years.

“We worked one-on-one with athletes and it was a very relaxed atmosphere,” she says. Wear discovered the volunteer opportunity during a meeting at VMS.

“Someone from the Special Olympics organization presented information at our school, and I knew I wanted to do it,” she says.

At VMS, she was involved in volleyball, skiing and soccer.

Teacher Michael Ioli says Wear is an amazing person, balancing varsity sports, intense academics, volunteer work and outdoor adventures with style and grace.

“She is one of the most mature, focused and compassionate young people I have ever known,” he says. “She can always be counted on for leadership and her skills in the outdoors.”

This upcoming summer includes more extreme adventures for Wear. She’ll surf, raft and scuba dive in Australia.

She says she’ll mix in some work too, although she doesn’t know what job she will look for. In the fall, she will go to Durham, N. C. to attend Duke University.

“I’m going in with an undeclared major, but I’m interested in international business or social work,” she says.

Wear’s younger brother Robert is an eighth-grader at VMS. Her advice to him? “Just have fun,” she says.

“Work hard and enjoy your friends. Some of the best advice I received from my parents was to work hard because it will pay off. They were right.”

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