At 79, Ulf Ericson was still working full time as a civil engineer at Washington Group International. On vacations, he trekked in the Himalayas and explored Antarctica. "My father saw himself as someone much younger," said his daughter Catherine. "He had a real passion for engineering. Every year I would say: 'Dad, do they know how old you are?' But he didn't see age as limiting."
Ten years ago, Mr. Ericson returned to mountaineering, which he had loved as a student at Stanford University. He and Helen, his wife of 48 years, had traveled widely. He lived for years in Guatemala and Indonesia and regularly took his family to see relatives in Sweden, where he was raised.
But he wanted to see Nepal's soaring peaks. That trip was the first of his exotic vacations, which continued with a safari in Tanzania, a South Pacific tour and the Antarctica trip. "He didn't brag about his adventures," his daughter said. "Most people just thought he was a quiet, flexible nice guy. I don't think they knew the depths of my father."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 12, 2001.