Philip Friesen

Director of Outdoor Pursuits, Student Life
UC Box: 
Creamery 1 (Forest Grove)
Areas I Teach: 

Phil Zook Friesen started leading twenty-one day backpacking trips in the Ansel Adams Wilderness in 1996.  The first time he set up a fixed line on a gnarly ridge traverse he knew he had discovered what he wanted to do for the rest of his life: to support the transformation of people’s lives through nature.  Since than he has led thirty-one day canoe trips with court referred youth, guided on mountains in Ecuador, started the Outdoor Pursuits Program at Johns Hopkins University and created the Outdoor Leadership Minor at Pacific University.

His most significant outdoor adventures to date include climbing the Sun Ribbon Arête on Temple Crag (Trad, Alpine, 22 Pitches, 5.10, Grade IV), completing the Liberty Ridge Route on Mt. Rainier (IV, Class 3-4, 45-55 degree snow/ice), and backpacking for five days with his wife and two kids in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  He is an Assistant Provider for the Professional Climbing Instructor Association (PCIA) and uses this curriculum in the climbing classes he teaches at Pacific University. 

He received his Master’s Degree in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University with a focus on Outdoor Leadership Development.  He believes students must seek to understand themselves at a deeper level in order to discover the style of leadership that will work best for them.  He believes the best way to understand yourself better is by challenging yourself past pre-conceived limits within a supportive community. 

Course Information

OL 307 | Applied Outdoor Leadership
OL 407 | Outdoor Leadership Seminar
HPER 158 | Rock Climbing
OL 308 | Single Pitch Rock Climbing 


M.S. Experiential Education
Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN

B.S. Biology Pre-Med and Minor in Peace and Justice
Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA

Select Career Highlights
2011-Current Director Outdoor Pursuits
   Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

2011-Current Director Outdoor Leadership Minor
   Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR

2011-2013 Developed Outdoor Leadership Minor
   Pacific University, Forest Grove, OR
     Designed five new courses and directs the minor. 

2010-Current Mountain Guide, 3 Course
  Pacific University, Mt. Rainier, WA 5 Days
    Guided clients on Mt. Rainier’s Emmons-Winthrop Glacier Route.

2008--2009 White Water Kayaking Instructor Training, 2 courses
  Johns Hopkins University, Various Rivers in MD, 4 Days
    Taught new instructors how to teach kayaking and basic swift water rescue.

2006-2009 ACA WWK Level III Certified
  Baltimore, MD 

2004-2009 Ecuador Mountain Guide, 3 Courses
  Johns Hopkins University, Base Camp in Quito, Ecuador, 14 Days
    Curriculum combines mountaineering and cultural awareness in order to challenge participants’ perceptions of themselves and their worldview.  Successfully guided Cotopaxi (19,343ft) three times.

2001-2009 Hopkins Outdoor Leadership Training, 7 Courses
  Johns Hopkins University, West Virginia and Adirondacks, 10 Days

2000-2009 Founder and Director of Johns Hopkins University’s Outdoor Pursuits Program,
   Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 

1998-2000 Lead Mountaineering Instructor for Instructors Course, 3 Courses
   Summit Adventure, Ansel Adams Wilderness, CA, 17 Days
Trained instructors how to lead extended mountaineering courses.  Curriculum included character development, facilitation skills, judgment & decision making, cross country navigation, fixed lines, snow camping, campcraft, climbing, rappelling, and mountaineering.


Extracurricular Activities

Phil lives with his wife and two boys in Forest Grove, OR.   He says that, “Fatherhood has been the ultimate adventure thus far and has taught me so much about caring for others.”  He enjoys wrestling with his boys, reading to them, kicking the soccer ball around and helping them find their path in life.   

Phil loves to recharge his batteries by going on runs or reading the latest Alpinist Magazine.  When he is not teaching or leading others outdoors he loves to climb long alpine routes with close friends.