Captain J. Brent Peters, a Reservist from Calgary and avid mountain peak in North America, and click on the link below to find out more about Capt. Peters' experiences
Mt. Mckinely is the highest mountian peak in North America, and click on the link below to find out more about Capt. Peters' experinces on Mt. Mckinely.
Brent Peters was born and raised on a farm in the Canadian Prairies and from a young age learned the value of hard work and that life was a challenge to be analyzed and triumphed over. While still in high school Brent worked for a local roofer and found a sense of enjoyment working in elevation above the flat prairie, in a place where the fear of falling was offset by the exhilaration of a job well done.
Brent joined the Regular Force at the age of 17 to study mechanical engineering at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario and it was during second language training in St. Jean, Quebec that he was first introduced to rock climbing. The movement of rock climbing was not unlike climbing ladders while roofing; however rock climbing included physical strength and problem solving skills required in route finding that had not yet been experienced in other sports that Brent had been involved in. Upon return to Kingston, Brent became actively involved in the college climbing club and developed his skills in rock and ice climbing. As the climbing passion grew, every day off from studies became an excuse to travel to the nearest cliffs or mountains to build upon his mountaineering skills.
Upon completion of his Bachelor of Engineering, Brent spent four years with the Lord Strathcona’s Horse in Edmonton as an armoured reconnaissance troop leader. Command of the armoured cars and soldiers required diligence and responsibility to the quality of training and mentorship required for strength and cohesion of the troop. In order to realize his skills within the Regular Force and the Reserves, Brent often turned to the mountains and it was in the complexity of extensive mountain routes that alpine mountaineering became a training ground in which to build and hone the skills required for military manoeuvres. The mountains, like combat situations had the potential to become a life threatening situation and one had to always be aware of the risk involved and to remain focused on the objective.
Captain John Brent Peters served in Bosnia in 2001 and also found the time to join a US-Canadian military expedition with six climbing partners to reach the summit of Mount McKinley via the West Buttress Route. At an elevation of approximately 6,194 m, McKinley also referred to as Denali, is located in the Alaskan Range and is North America’s highest mountain. Although the mountain is regularly climbed, it is a dangerous undertaking with just over 50% of the expeditions that are successful. To climb to such an elevation requires enormous physical and emotional strength. Hauling heavy gear up the mountain to establish increasingly higher camps and then returning to a lower elevation to sleep and acclimatize is repeated day after day until the final camp can be established in order to make the push to the summit.
In 2003 Brent completed his Assistant Rock Guide certification through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) and in 2005 he transferred to the Reserve Forces with The King’s Own Calgary Regiment in order to pursue business in the residential and commercial construction industry. He brought the same drive, determination, and problem solving strategies that he acquired in the Forces and in the mountains to his construction company.
In early 2009 after nearly a two year hiatus from the Reserves and from the mountains, Brent began training for mountaineering and was invited in March to climb McKinley once again, this time by one of the more difficult alpine routes, the Cassin Ridge. This expedition, unlike the 2001 ascent will only involve Brent and one climbing partner and will commence in the beginning of June 2009. Brent is currently on a three day training exercise on the Columbia Icefields in preparation for the Denali ascent and plans to accomplish the two summits of Stutfield Peak at approximately 3450 m as well as the North (3684 m) and South (3566 m) Twin Peaks. The North Twin is the highest mountain entirely in Alberta and the third highest in the Canadian Rockies and given favourable weather and fast conditions Brent and his alpine partner may achieve the summit of Twin Tower as well.
Recently with The King’s Own Calgary Regiment, Brent has been enthusiastically involved in mentoring young officers about the rigors of decision making in the combat environment. During the most recent Exercise Western Defender, he deployed as an observer controller, coordinating between friendly and enemy forces to facilitate effective training. This exercise emphasized that one needs to be conscious of what they are doing in providing guidance and leadership and that skills and lessons are learned daily that can benefit the larger group.
Involvement with both the Canadian Force and in mountaineering has been a great way to get in touch with the idea of personal leadership and of leadership philosophy and helps to identify what to really believe in. Combat and mountain training both require a no-nonsense approach to achieve goals. The structured and organized approach of training in the Force is focused on setting objectives, managing time and awareness of the responsibility of achieving results. This exceptional training is paralleled by the discipline required in the mountains and enables setting of long and short term goals that are realistic and measurable.
Brent plans to pursue his dreams of becoming a full Mountain Guide with the ACMG while continuing to serve part time with the Reserve Forces. He looks forward to weekly interactions with The King’s Own Calgary Regiment, future mountaineering expeditions and deployments world wide and will continue to develop core values and train towards the highest expectations for himself, his friends and fellow soldiers.