Department of Corrections employees, where Henry "Hank" Haurand is a probation officer, and firefighters with the South Davis Fire Department, where Haurand is an engineer, know him as a patient, caring man with a cool head, a lot of quiet ways and a droll humor.
What many of them don't know is that Haurand is a veteran mountaineer and rock climber who, as a boy, scaled the west side of the Berlin Wall and, as a teenager, climbed the 110-foot tower of the Swiss LDS Temple to clean its roof tiles.His climbing partners say Haurand is one of the best climbers around and the person they would most like to climb with.
Salt Lake County Deputy Sheriff Craig Carroll, who is one of Haurand's climbing partners, says, "I never worry when I'm with Hank. I trust him with my life."
Haurand, 31, of North Salt Lake, has worked for the Department of Corrections since 1986. His job is to track down parole fugitives, a task he performs with as much skill and energy as he uses to climb steep cliffs.
A part-time fireman since 1982, Haurand regularly teaches more than 70 members of the South Davis Fire Department how to rescue fire victims with ropes, how to rappel from the tops of buildings or from windows and how to tie a variety of knots.
Among Haurand's favorite climbing areas: Mount Rainer and the Cascade and Olympic mountains near Seattle, Wash.; the Wasatch Mountains and Diamond Fork Canyon near Thistle; Rock Canyon near Provo; Big and Little Cottonwood canyons; the Wind River Range at the south end of the Tetons; the Sawtooth Mountains in central Idaho; and the sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park.
Practically every Saturday during the summer months, Haurand and one or more of his climbing friends go mountain climbing, or rock climbing, as they call it. Several times each summer he spends a week or more climbing, often sleeping in a vertical position, perched on the side of a mountain and tied to a rock wall with ropes.
"You have to know where you can go and where you can't go," says Haurand. "You have to move cautiously, sometimes inch by inch, and you have to think about every move before you make it."
Haurand said practically all the popular rock climbing areas in Utah are rated by the American Alpine Club according to difficulty. Climbs are rated on a scale from one to six, with one being a simple hike along a trail. Level six means the area requires climbing aids. Most routes charted by the club in Utah are of class five difficulty, which delineates roped climbing during which hardware is necessary to protect climbers from a fall, but is not used as an aid in climbing upward.
"Climbers often use metal nuts or other temporary aids, called artificial protection, to climb steep smooth surfaces, but they always remove these devices. Climbing purists discourage pins being placed as permanent aids, since once a pin is placed, a climb is altered and those who repeat the route will be negotiating a different climb."
The names of the climbs are often a description of their difficulty. Some in Little Cottonwood Canyon, for instance, are called Hand Eater, Death Flake, Aggression, Paraplegic Ward, Lunge or Plunge, the Coffin, the Flying Dutchman, Intensive Care, Satan's Corner and Mind Blow.
Others in the area go by the name of Expect No Mercy, Pearly Gates, Spring and Fall and Fat Man's Misery.
Haurand grew up in Seattle. In 1962, when he was six years old, his parents moved to West Berlin for four years while his father helped build chapels for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
"The Communists were just finishing building the Berlin Wall and some friends and I used to play on the west side of it. We'd climb to the top and down just for fun."
Haurand said he didn't start rock climbing until his parents moved back to Seattle in 1967, when he was 10. Then he climbed in the Cascade and Olympic mountains.
In 1972, he went back to Germany, this time to Frankfurt, where his father was directing the construction of LDS churches throughout Europe. Haurand spent his junior and senior years in a high school for Army civilians and other Americans.
In Frankfurt, Haurand began learning specific rock climbing skills and climbed the Taunus Mountains outside of Frankfurt and other areas in his spare time.
On one adventure, Haurand and a friend scaled the Swiss LDS Temple to clean some dirty roof tiles and then managed to rappel several times down the structure's 110-foot tower, for fun.
Haurand returned to America and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1980 with degrees in German and English, all the while sharpening his climbing skills in the Wasatch Mountains. "I've never grown tired of the sport or of learning about it," he said.
It is a special kind of excitement, he said, climbing up the sheer face of a granite cliff, grabbing scant handholds with fingertips, sometimes lodging only a fist in a tiny crevice as you pull and twist your body about to grasp another, higher hold with your other hand.
"It is good exercise, it builds confidence and it's fun. It really takes more skill than strength. There are many good women climbers who aren't particularly muscular."
Haurand says rock climbing is in his blood. "It is something I want to do for the rest of my life."