As a native of Western Pennsylvania, Fritz Oettinger is accustomed to hard work and self-sufficiency. Growing up with a Navy veteran father, Oettinger learned skills in many areas including carpentry, outdoorsmanship and engineering. As his knowledge grew so did his confidence, so much so that the Boy Scouts suggested he leave the organization after showing up a scout master during a bow and arrow demonstration.
At the age of 18 he moved to Colorado to attend college at Colorado State University, a place where his love for the outdoors could flourish. It was also where he began summiting 14,000-foot peaks. At the same time Fritz was hiking to 14,000-foot peaks he was also falling from the same height – as a licensed skydiver he has jumped in five different states.
After graduating in 2008 with a BS in Construction Management and a minor in Business Administration, Oettinger had to leave Colorado due to the lack of job availability. As one of the few in his field with a job offer, he packed up his two-door hatchback and moved to Los Angeles. In California he coordinated efforts of various trades contributing to the construction of two hospitals including the Camp Pendleton Naval Hospital. During that time the mountains of Colorado continued to call him, so every summer Oettinger traveled back to Colorado to hike 14ers with his brother.
In 2014 Oettinger was recruited to build a hospital in Vail and he moved back in August to work on the project. Upon returning to the Vail Valley, he met and became friends with Justin Carter who would become his business partner for Peak Patch. Carter and Oettinger are co-founders of the company and Oettinger serves as CFO. In 2015 he returned to California where he is now the Program Manager of Services for a wind turbine maintenance company.
When he’s not working, Oettinger can be found outside participating in his favorite outdoor activities including wakeboarding, biking, running marathons, scuba diving and, of course, climbing 14ers. He is known as the “Human Swiss Army Knife” – a nickname he earned by being able to quickly learn different skill sets. Oettinger also finished in the top 15 percent in the world in the 2014 CrossFit Open and is SCUBA certified.