Covina High School Class of 1968
Burlington VT Grad Photo

Shanda McGrew

Shanda McGrew

Right before senior year, my mother remarried and I was bumped all the way to Burlington, Vermont to finish high school. Quite a change from West Covina! Two feet of snow and twenty below were not uncommon, but I stayed for three years, then alternated spending summers in Maine and winters in the Bay Area for another four years. I even went to Woodstock! I drove back and forth across the U.S., taking a different route each time and visiting many of the national parks.

Frustrated with Bay Area gridlock and congestion, in '73 I packed all my worldly goods into my station wagon and headed east to the Sierras. I've been there ever since.

I wanted to work outdoors, so I was a landscape gardener for 18 years. I also worked for Bear Management in Yosemite and as a botany technician for the U.S. Forest Service. For the past 15 years I've been an arborist, spending my days walking in the woods looking at trees. No retirement in sight yet, but I'm grateful because my job keeps me active.

In 2006 I fulfilled my dream of trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal, reaching a high point of 18,400 feet. Loved it so much I went back in 2009 and did it again by a different route.

I bought a home and 5+ acres in 2001. No future plans at this point, I'm just enjoying life and my sanctuary in the Sierras.

Shanda McGrew
Shanda at Cho La pass: 17,782 ft.