Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation
Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation

"I want to spend by life helping people to better understand our natural world and appreciate it in the same way I have done by becoming part of nature. Our natural world is a powerful force and I want to try to provide people with the opportunity to grow through their interaction with the environment. "
- Kate Svitek

About Kate

Kate Svitek died in a tragic snowboarding accident on Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon in February 2002 at the age of 22.

Her high school guidance counselor described Kate as, "a larger than life young woman who needed literal as well as figurative mountains in her life, who thrived on them, and would go through hell to scale them."

Kate had a passion for the outdoors. As an independent, determined, responsible, free spirit, she enjoyed backpacking, hiking, biking, and horseback riding from a young age. She was a certified scuba diver and had her wilderness first response certification. She participated in outdoor adventure camps and Outward Bound during her teenage years.

Drawn to the Pacific Northwest and the lure of Mt. Rainier, she attempted to summit Mt. Rainier three times; twice she was turned back due to severe weather conditions but in September, 2001 she reached the summit.

After graduating from Germantown Academy, Fort Washington, PA in 1997, Kate graduated from the University of Vermont in May, 2001 earning a B.S. in Recreation Management from the School of Natural Resources and a minor in eco-tourism. During her junior year in college, she spent spring semester in Patagonia with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), where she lived for 75 days outdoors in the mountains of Chile while learning sea kayaking, mountaineering, and survival skills.

Sharing her passion of the outdoors with children gave Kate opportunities to plan her future. For summer jobs, she lead teenage adventure tours throughout the west. While in Oregon, she worked as a naturalist at a school for at-risk children. Her hope was to develop her own school for children to learn outdoor skills and develop a respect and passion for our wilderness as she did.

Kate loved life, she loved snowboarding, she loved working in the great outdoors, and she loved her job at Mt. Bachelor in Bend, Oregon. Her compassion for people, nature and the world she loved enabled her to live out many of her dreams as she constantly continued to create new ones. She was a devoted friend to all who had the privilege to know her.