ev-il-fun-gus [ee-vuhl-fuhng-guh s]
1. A website located on the world wide web reached by executing hypertext transfer protocol www.evilfungus.com in your internet browser; owned and maintained by Nate Riensche and Kirsten Hauge, used to share photos, videos and stories from their outdoor pursuits, primarily in Washington and the Pacific Northwest.
2. a compound noun formed by the words:
a. evil – harmful, injurious
b. fungus – any of a diverse group of eukaryotic single-celled or multinucleate organisms that live by decomposing and absorbing the organic material in which they grow.
First known usage occurred in Railay, Thailand, in the early 21st century. A group of American travelers were there on a rock-climbing trip. Despite the protests of his companions, one member, we’ll call him Sean, insisted on eating salad and fresh fruit — foods that are washed in water that is sometimes contaminated with micro-organisms that foreigners are not usually immune to. Shortly thereafter, to no one’s surprise, Sean became ill, and was forced into bed for two days. Not one to readily admit his mistakes, Sean inisted that his illness had nothing to do with the food that he ingested, but rather it was the mold growing on the baseboard of their bungalow, or as he put it, “That evil fungus sprayed its evil spores and made me sick.”
It was around that time that I, in need of a creative outlet, started a website to share my adventures with my friends and family. I was looking through videotape from Thailand and when I saw the scene with Sean blaming the “evil fungus” for making him sick, I knew that had to be the name. From that time it has been a regular source of amusement for me to design the site and add content on a regular basis. It wasn’t long after the inception of the site that I began dating Kirsten, who instantly became a regular subject of and contributor to most of the content. Then, in August of 2006, Kirsten and I tied the knot, and because Washington is a common law sate, this website is now about us and our adventures. Kidding, of course, but really I did anticipate changing the denomination to equate to that and to emulate our quaint nickname, Q8, but I just couldn’t quite come up with an adequate technique to make a playful colloquy. So I stuck with the insipidly ironic “evil fungus.” I would have had to come up with all new logos and transfer everything to a new site if I changed, and that would mean a lot of work, so it’s probably for the best.
So now, a brief history of our climbing careers. I started rock climbing in 1998, then took the Washington Alpine Club’s basic and intermediate climbing classes in 2002 to learn mountaineering and glacier skills. That was the year Kirsten and I met. Kirsten took the NOLS mountaineering course in the Waddington Range in B.C. in 1998, the same year I started climbing. She rock climbed and ice climbed in the midwest for a couple years, but finally the pull of the mountains grew too strong and she moved to Seattle in 2000. She took the WAC’s backcountry skiing class in 2002, and then helped instruct my climbing class that same year, where she taught me how to tie knots. The following winter, I started backcountry skiing with her and she taught me to telemark. A few years later, we have both since sold our souls to the devil and switched to randonee, but we do spend most of the year skiing, whether it’s riding lifts, hunting powder in the backcountry, going on long overnight tours, or ski mountaineering. We’ve found a peaceful equinamity in the beauty, thrill, vigor, and comaraderie of our outdoor activities that nothing else can match.
That should be all the information you need, now go forth to the site.