Mt. Hood – A summit report from base camp
It is 10:50am, June 13, 2010 on the flanks of Mt Hood.
9 hours since the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer team loaded into their snow cat and departed for their climb.
5 hours since I woke everyone at Silcox Hut thinking I saw the team at the summit (Note: I am not popular with those at the hut who would have preferred to keep sleeping – see next entry.)
3 hours since the team actually made it to the summit. (YIPPEE!)
2 hours until the team arrives back at Timberline Lodge for its celebration luncheon.
I travel to Mt Hood every year to see off our climbing team. Each year there is an adventure – the amount of snow on Mt Hood, an unexpected storm, snow cats breaking down, a climber that is missing important gear. Yet every year there are things that never change – Mt Hood is beautiful, our climbers are enthusiastic, well-trained and ready to jump into their expedition.
Like many of our teams, this one has a cancer survivor, a brother – sister team, experienced climbers, novice climbers but, most importantly this year – my husband, Tom. In January he came to me and asked if he climbed Mt Hood, would I run a half-marathon? The challenge began. We fundraised together and have done some training together and traveled here together.
After the recent avalanche on Mt Rainier there has been tremendous concern for the team climbing this weekend. My head was clear – our guides are professional, courteous and always safe. My heart – well I have been a mess – joyful for his commitment to the cause and learning to climb, yet full of worry.
I look up at the summit’s blue skies and white magnificent peaks, knowing they are safe half-way down at the Hogsback.
I look forward to celebrating together, driving home together and our next challenge together.