Karl Lagerberg
Success Experiences:  Karl Lagerberg

    Karl Lagerberg greets you with a contagious smile, a hardy handshake. Then he gives you his business card which reads:
Wilderness and Outdoor Activities; “Enjoyment Consultant.”

    This “hard as nails” 74 year old lives by what the card says! Karl believes in enjoying life outdoors——he is a telemark skier (backcountry and resort), a climber, and a “heavy—duty” backpacker. While living in an age group known more for atrophy, Karl perpetuates his endless youth, and his devotion to family and religion by being on the mountain tops.

    Karl’s “first outdoor experience” came at age four——picking berries in the woods for his mother in a small Swedish fishing village on the Baltic Sea. He grew up hiking, skating, playing hockey, sailing, canoeing, and rowing. But gymnastics was his passion. This sport influenced him to become a proponent of living the “clean, simple life.”

    “When I was seventeen I became a vegetarian; the people of my village thought I was crazy--I became the laughing stock. However, I haven’t eaten a piece of red meat, fish, chicken or anything like that since 1936——57 years!” It is a simplicity that resonates through his lifestyle.

    Karl completed his college physical education degree in Sweden during World War II. While in college he met and married Anna Margareta Ericsson. They emigrated to America in 1948 and settled in southern Utah where Karl worked as a carpenter and a contractor until 1960. Then, the LDS Church sent the Lagerbergs on a two year mission (which lasted eleven years) in Northern Europe. From 1972 until his retirement Karl worked for the Building Division of the LDS Church in Salt Lake City.

    Like careers will do, Karl’s job restricted his outdoors ventures to Saturdays and vacation time. To enhance his position in this common malady, he joined the Wasatch Mountain Club and the Sierra Club. He kept in shape with daily early morning workouts which consisted of running for 45 minutes, walking on his hands (for 65 “steps”), and doing general calisthenics.

    Karl’s persistence has paid off in retirement: Last year he had 130 ski days. A typical winter day finds Karl on one of his nineteen pairs of skis. Three days a week are spent telemarking at a resort——usually Brighton where he skis free as a card carrying member of “70+ Club. The other two ski days are “spent on tours up to Catherine Pass, or up to Superior, or to Scotts Pass, or to Desolation Lake, Bear Trap and that sort of thing.” When the weather moderates Anna joins him for some cross-country skiing “on flatter terrain”.

    To spice up the winter “routine” Karl occasionally participates in winter adventures outside the Wasatch. Last winter, for example, he and some buddies “did a winter hike of the Middle Teton”. In May of 1990 he ascended and skied Sweden’s highest peak, Mt. Kebnekaise.
 In the summer he steps up his activities. “From May to November we hike about three times a week and then take off to spend a week (Monday-Friday) hiking at places such as Mt. Whitney, Kings Peak, the Tetons, Yellowstone, the Wind Rivers and in the fall, the Grand Canyon. Between long backpacks is when I hike two or three times a week. Among the trails in the Wasatch I do Timpanogos twice a years, Twin Peak once or twice a year, try to get Lone Peak in, Pfeiferhorn several times--its my favorite-—, and I have done Mt. Olympus over a hundred times.”

    He has climbed the Grand Teton six times, the last time was four years ago when he was 70 years old. In November 1987 he participated with a Swedish health organization in a walk from the south rim of the Grand Canyon to Phoenix, a distance, he figures, of about 300 miles. “There were fifteen of us and we hiked the back country roads. Fun time. We ate no solid food; did it on a liquid diet to make it more challenging--it felt just wonderful!”

    Why all this activity? Is this a classic example of avoiding responsibility? Not hardly! Plain and simple: I love being on top of mountains——winter or summer, it doesn’t matter.”

    He articulates his feelings on the outdoors with passion and reverence. “I think God speaks to me through Nature; through the creation, the beauty, the stillness, the harmony, and the peace. There is no place that I feel closer to God than on a mountain top.” This inspiration fuels his position as a Patriarch in the Salt Lake Bonneville Stake of the LDS Church.

    But as nature’s sanctity is continually compromised for development, Karl worries that “money will always win.” “There has to be moderation,” he says. “That is why I support the Sierra Club, the Wasatch Club, and back—to—nature schools—-to slow down the destruction of nature.”

    His overall philosophy is Simplicity. “Everything-simplicity! People make everything too complicated. In economy for example, people spend more than they have. Live within your means. I feel sorry for so many people who are tied up in so many unimportant things. They need to live more.”

    Northland explorer and guide Sigurd Olson stated “simplicity in all things is the secret of the wilderness and one of its most valuable lessons. When in the wilds, we must not carry our problems with us or the joy is lost.” Karl Lagerberg has listened to this message of the wilderness. Through simplicity, he has learned to live fully and with joy.

Bill Slaughter
The Sports Guide, April 1993                [Posted Jan 13 2002, tlr]

Note: We honored Karl with our "Vegetarian Centurion Award" at a LifeSave International Program in 1996 in Salt Lake City.
  Karl is the epitome of health and joyous vigor. Proof that his compassionate millennial life choice, made early on in his life, was the right one for him, and is strong evidence for it benefiting you!
  We are grateful for his unfailing testimony of the Restord Gospel of Jesus Christ, and his wonderful years of loving service to his beloved Latter Day Saints and our community! all supported through his early chosen health and life saving greater "Word of Wisdom" understanding and valor!
  His wish is that all would live for and obtain the blessings that he has enjoyed all along!   tlr
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