Friday, April 4, 2014

MVP - Pete Sabin

Pete and DiAnne Sabin at Mt. Fremont
Our first MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) features Pete Sabin. Pete has experience in several volunteer positions in Mount Rainier National Park and in his local community.
Pete’s story begins in 2006 when the Mount Fremont fire lookout was being rebuilt. He had heard from a friend that it would be helpful if someone was there to talk with the public so the carpenters could work without interruption. In Pete's words, “One day in early July I showed up at Sunrise and introduced myself to the lead ranger. Soon I had a new volunteer shirt, had been shown how to use the radio and was on my way to the lookout."

Most of his volunteer time has been as a Meadow Rover at Sunrise. Pete also goes to Mount Fremont and opens the lookout so the public can visit. He has also done some winter volunteering at Paradise, helping with and occasionally leading snowshoe walks. He has also helped out on the new Adopt-a-Highway litter patrol.

Pete is a member of a group of Park "old timers” who make several trips each summer to visit various sites in the Park to document its early history. “Among other things, we’ve visited many old mine sites, proved the existence of a long forgotten trail from Glacier Bridge to Paradise and located the sites of old buildings in the park,” Pete tells us. “My personal charge as part of this group is to focus on the history of the fire lookouts. I’ve been able to collect pictures and obtain stories from people who had been on the lookouts. This is an ongoing project that may always be in 'draft' form.” He has even received a letter from someone stationed at Mt. Fremont in 1943!

Pete’s family has had a lifetime connection to Mt. Rainier. He learned to ski at Paradise and worked on the rope tows while he was in high school. This led to summer jobs for three years as a Fire Control Aide in the Park. His first summer duty was in 1961 when he was stationed at the Gobbler’s Knob lookout. The next two years saw him at the Lake James patrol cabin and then the Mount Fremont lookout. It was during his third summer that he met his future wife, DiAnne, who was working at the Paradise Inn. She is also a park volunteer.

The park volunteer work is fun for Pete. He enjoys spending his time in an area in which he has some expertise. His volunteer work is not limited to the Park, however. He also volunteers in his community. Pete has been a soccer coach, a member of a ballet board, treasurer of a ski team, and president of a local athletic association, in addition to serving seven years on a district school board. He also taught a weekend skiing class for 47 years. Pete currently volunteers as an exercise instructor at a local Y when he is not at Mount Rainier.

~Submitted by Jean Millan, our MVP correspondent

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