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Ambassador Spotlight: Tony Ramos

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do when you’re not hiking? 

Hi, my name is Tony Ramos and I just turned 50 years in December.  I have mainly lived in Southern California most of my life and most recently moved to Chino, California.  I am the 3rd of 7 siblings in my family.  I work in the field of Information Technology as a Technical Lead and assist with Problem Management and Problem Resolution for all sorts of technology issues.  When I am not hiking, I am usually spending time cleaning, organizing, listening to music, watching TV & News, and spending time with Family.  I also enjoy some other sports such as climbing, mountaineering, cycling, and running races from short 10k runs up to 50-mile Ultra Marathons.  I have a big medal collection and one of those medals I received while running a 1/2 marathon in Yosemite with Jeff Hester in 2016.

What has the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge meant to you? 

Learning and getting to do the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge was the first time I ever heard of a challenge in the sport of hiking.  I had previously set goals for myself in hiking but not until I learned about this challenge, I was truly motivated and looking forward to certain hikes and summitting these peaks.  Doing this challenge improved my conditioning to be able to tackle even more challenging mountains such as Mt. Whitney, Mount Shasta, Pico de Orizaba, Mt. Fuji, and Kilimanjaro among the other peaks.  Reading about Jeff’s John Muir Trail (JMT) journey through the website, I also was inspired and completed the JMT in 2017. 

What is your favorite hike in the Six-Pack of Peaks and why? 

My favorite of the Southern California Six-Pack of Peaks must be San Bernardino Peak..  This mountain is a little challenging due to the distance but what makes it enjoyable is the beauty of all the trees and vegetation on the trail.  I have gotten to experience it with and without snow and it never disappoints.  Other than this one, I enjoy Mount Baldy because it is so close to home which makes it easier to visit more frequently.

(Editor's note: San Bernadino Peak is no longer one of the SoCal Six-Pack of Peaks challenge peaks for 2022, but it is still a great hike!)

Share one of your most memorable adventures. What makes it so special? 

One of the most memorable adventures for me must be the 17 days I spent in the mountains hiking the JMT.  It was a whole different experience to be able to basically live in the mountains for that many days with nothing but what I was carrying on my back.  It was also time well spent bonding with friends and making new ones.  I ended up meeting and becoming friends with Ayumi who was visiting from Japan on this trek.   I eventually went to Japan to hike, and she was the person who guided me in climbing to the top of Mount Fuji.  What made it so very special was enduring the exhaustion and grueling times together as friends with no one quitting and finishing together.  It was also a pleasant surprise to see one of my good hiking friends Alex climb Mount Whitney just to meet us at the summit and bring us some much craved coke, beers and fresh fruit.

What’s one piece of gear that you never hike without?

The one piece of gear I never hike without of course is a backpack as that is where I carry all the rest of my gear.  But besides the backpack, I always carry my phone with an extra battery pack and cables.  I always track my hikes and use applications such as All Trails to make sure I don’t get lost.  Other important gear I carry is a Garmin inReach, Extra layers, Medical Kit, USB Rechargeable Headlamps, Snacks, and of course the most important WATER.

(Editor's Note: Another great app to have is the Social Hiker app, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, so you can read and create hike logs on the go!)

Share a quote, song, or another inspirational item that helps get you through the toughest hikes/life moments.

I have taken a lot of self-development courses including Tony Robbins – Unleash The Power Within.  The main takeaway I have gotten from all these courses is that it is not what happens to us in life that affects us negatively or positively, it is the way we perceive the events or things that happen.  I try to look at everything that happens in my life and make it into a positive story in my mind.

My personal quote, “I can wish, I can hope, or I can dream but I choose to take ACTION and Make It Happen!”

What upcoming adventures are you looking forward to in the year ahead?

I visit Yosemite every year and tend to climb Half Dome just as often so I am planning to hike in Yosemite and hike to Half Dome for my 21st time. I also try to climb Mt Whitney every year so I will likely be going there again this year.  I am planning to join Jeff Hester in New Mexico to climb Mt. Wheeler and finally I want to return to finish climbing all three peaks for the volcano Iztaccihuatl in Mexico. 

Share a fun fact about you that most people wouldn’t know.

A fun fact about me is that I once got to have dinner at Il Fornaio (cusina italiana) with Shakira in Pasadena. 

Is there anything else you wish I would have asked you or anything you would like to add? 

I am a big computer and technology nerd so if you have any technology related questions I am likely to either have an answer or be able to get an answer for you. How did I get into hiking?  Well, I met a friend Jason Bazalar in college who asked me to join him hiking and eventually started a hiking group / community called LATH – LA Trail Hikers.  The community grew to over 13 thousand followers and participants.  Most recently the hikes have stopped mostly due to the Pandemic but hope that with this Omicron variant slowly going away, we can start up the hikes again. 

You can find Tony here on Social Hiker, and on Instagram @tonyramosjr

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