The State Natural Resources Council has approved a Whatcom County Summit nomination for the first man to reach the summit.
Legendary climber Anacortes Dallas Kloke made the first documented ascent of what is now Kloke Peak in 1972.
“It’s so deserved,” said Bud Miller, 87, who has spent years traveling and climbing with Kloke. “He was such a good climber and a good friend.
“He was so involved in the community and was a devoted Christian. He was at the base of the local climbing. Period. And his death was tragic.
Kloke died in 2010 in a rock climbing accident in the North Cascades.
The 6,480-foot Kloke Peak is located in the Twin Sisters region of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
“It was a nameless peak that he longed to climb and he did it,” Miller said. “He deserves to have his name.”
Mazama’s Scott Bingen agrees.
When he met Kloke around 1993, he said if you were a climber in the Skagit Valley at the time, you already knew who he was.
“I think it’s a very fitting tribute to a remarkable individual and a mainstay of the local climbing scene for decades,” Bingen said. “Especially since Dallas had the first ascent of the summit and a long history of explorations in the Twin Sisters range and throughout the North Cascades.”
The name Kloke Peak will be added to Washington’s administrative code, and it will be sent to the US Board on Geographic Names for federal review.
The naming of the peak was proposed in 2020. Jason Griffith of Mount Vernon was responsible for the large amount of documentation required for the naming of Kloke Peak.
“Dallas was a friend, a mentor, a climbing partner and an inspiration to many people, myself included,” Griffith said. “He had the energy of people who were half his age and was always up for adventure.”
From the 1960s through the 1980s, Kloke was responsible for 12 new routes in the Twin Sisters region, while creating other routes through the Cascades.
When he was staying near his home, he climbed his beloved Mount Erie and wrote guidebooks detailing the routes he founded.
Mount Erie is where Bingen met Kloke.
“We were going to climb there all the time,” he said. “And he was kind enough to take me up the mountain and show me how things were done.”
Kloke taught elementary school in Oak Harbor for 33 years and, after retiring, spent a decade as an athletics coach at Anacortes High School.
Kloke has also written guides.
“Not many people knew that he also made children’s books,” Griffith said. “When my first son was about 18 months old, Dallas asked me about his interests. A few months later, he delivered a bespoke heavy equipment book to us.
Born in Burlington in 1939, Kloke was married to his wife Carolyn for 43 years and raised three children.
Miller recalls a time when he and Kloke traveled to summit a peak in the Arizona desert. The couple not only had to beat the setting sun, but also the rattlesnakes.
“We had never been there before and didn’t know what to expect,” Miller said. “It was imperative that we returned at night because the place was full of mountain rattlesnakes. They hunt by heat and are very dangerous. We didn’t want to be there at night and have to stay there until morning.
Miller says Kloke was in charge of the trek as well as the climb, and describes him simply as “the man”.
“We went straight to the top, did the climb and came back,” Miller said. “No one was bitten. He had that kind of ability.