Rowan Taintor on top of Mount McGinnis on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount McGinnis on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

First-grader summits five mountains in Juneau

The feat took just over two months

One local first-grader took his love of hiking to new extreme elevations.

Rowan Taintor, 6, summited five peaks in Juneau within two months this summer: Mount Juneau, Jumbo, Roberts, McGinnis and Thunder Mountain. The five peaks, known informally as the “Big 5,” stand between 2,900 and 4,200 feet.

[Photos: Treadwell Arena opens for season]

“I just like exercise and well, (the) view,” Rowan said outside his family’s North Douglas house on Tuesday. “You get to see a good view at the top and it’s really fun.”

The idea came to Rowan at the beginning of the summer while they were hiking up Mount Juneau, said Rowan’s dad, Matt Taintor.

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount Roberts on Monday July 8, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount Roberts on Monday July 8, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

“We were hiking with a guy that had said he planned on hiking the ‘Big 5’ this summer and that just kind of stuck in his head,” Matt said. “And so whenever I had a day off and it was a nice day, he wanted to climb a mountain. He kept wanting to climb McGinnis and I told him we better do the four shorter ones first to make sure that both of us were in shape to do it.”

The duo conquered Mount Jumbo, Mount Roberts and Thunder Mountain in July, and finally Mount McGinnis last Friday. Just like the previous four mountains, Rowan had no problem with McGinnis — the tallest and longest of the five peaks — and was the first one in the hiking group to the top.

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount Juneau on Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount Juneau on Thursday, May 30, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Rowan said sandwiches and “gummy worms and gummy rabbits and jelly beans” fueled his adventures.

It turned out Jumbo — not McGinnis — was the most difficult hike, according to Rowan.

“You have to do a lot of scrambling over the roots and rocks,” said Rowan, who completed all five hikes under his own power.

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount Jumbo on Friday, July 5, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Rowan Taintor on top of Mount Jumbo on Friday, July 5, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Matt said the challenge spoke of his son’s mental toughness.

“Kids can do a lot more than we give them credit for I believe, both physically and intellectually,” Matt said. “I think it more has to do with wanting to do it than that ability physically.”

Rowan Taintor on top of Thunder Mountain on Thursday, July 25, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

Rowan Taintor on top of Thunder Mountain on Thursday, July 25, 2019. (Courtesy Photo | Shireen Taintor)

• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com. Follow Empire Sports on Twitter at @akempiresports.


More in Sports

A basketball sits ready for play at Thunder Mountain High School on Dec. 7, 2021. Starting this week, Juneau’s high school basketball and hockey players may participate in enhanced COVID-19 screenings rather than wear a mask while playing. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Prep sports teams breathe easier

New testing options let players drop masks.

Soldotna’s Gehret Medcoff prepares to enter the zone with teammate Daniel Heath against Juneau-Douglas on Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi hockey tops Juneau

SOLDOTNA — The Soldotna hockey team defeated Juneau-Douglas 4-2 on Thursday in… Continue reading

The 1997-1998 Klawock boys basketball team. The author is in the back, the third player from the right. (Courtesy Photo)
I Went to the Woods: Region V memories

I Went to the Woods goes to the hardwood.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé junior Kai Hargrave collects his plaque from softball coach Lexie Razor after being named the boy's free-throw champ at the Princess Tours Capital City Classic on Dec. 30. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)
Another ‘Classic’ is in the books

JDHS girls win, local players earn tournament honors

teaser
Scores at a glance for the week of Dec. 24

Quick recaps for local teams.

teaser
Scores at a glance for the week of Jan. 14

Quick recaps for local teams.

Alwen Carrillo, player for the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé, dribbles during practice on Dec. 14, 2021. Both JDHS teams will compete in the Capital City Classic beginning on Dec. 27, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
Happy ball-idays: Teams ready for Princess Capital City Classic

Teams from near and far will face down on the basketball court after Christmas.

teaser
Scores at a glance for the week of Dec. 17

Quick recaps for local teams.

Erlyn Penalosa of the Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé girls varsity basketball team advances downcourt during practice on Dec. 14, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
JDHS girls basketball team starting season swinging

A junior- and senior-heavy roster make for a formidable team.

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé varsity boys basketball players Orion Dybdahl, left and Jake Sleppy, right contest a jump ball from Coach Robert Caspersons during a practice on Dec. 14, 2021. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)
JDHS boys basketball gets ready to hit the road

Their first games this year will be away —way, way away.

The Thunder Mountain High School boys basketball team is heading into the season with a team that’s primarily a blend of sophomores and seniors. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
TMHS readies for season tipoff

The Falcons’ basketball season is ready to take flight.