To the Mountaintop and Back

Corey Fitzgerald

“The challenge of climbing a big mountain lies in the decisions you have to make,” says Brett Fitzgerald ’08, shown here on the ridge below Mount Rainier’s Nisqually Icefall during one of his many expeditions on Washington’s tallest peak.

Fitzgerald runs Northeast Mountaineering, a mountain guide outfitter in New Hampshire he co-founded with his younger brother, Corey. The two have guided groups on rock, ice and mountaineering climbs in New Hampshire, Oregon, Washington and Nepal. In November, the brothers will guide a group up the glaciated peak Cotopaxi, a 19,347-foot active volcano in Ecuador.

A talented athlete (he played varsity soccer all four years at Brandeis, and was named captain for two seasons), Fitzgerald thrives on the physical and mental challenges of mountaineering, calculating the risk-reward ratio throughout each climb. “If you try to mess with Mother Nature, you’re going to lose,” the economics major says. “If the summit isn’t in the cards, then you can’t be afraid to turn around.

“The mountains and their magic will always be there.”