A Participant’s Perspective on a Team Experience
There had been avalanche warnings throughout the Cascade mountain range the week prior to the Mt. Hood Climb to Fight Breast Cancer and it was the number one question on everyone’s minds as we gathered Friday night in Timberline Lodge (Oregon) to get to know one another. Would we be able to safely try for the summit?
You would think with such stunning, sunny and warm weather it would make for great climbing, but this isn’t always the case. Our team was being lead by the wonderful guides from Portland Parks and Recreation and I knew we were in capable hands.
It is truly remarkable to see a group of people travel from different parts of the country, meet each other for the first time and come together to embark on a journey that may lead to a mountain summit. The summit is not the entire goal of the trip. Yes, in fact we all wanted to reach the 11,237 high mark on the top of Mt. Hood, but there is more to this journey. The people who participate do so for many reasons. They climb to honor their family and friends. Those with breast cancer climb for themselves as well as others. They climb to raise money for the research and awareness of the disease. Some participants have never climbed or been on a mountain like this before.
At 1:30 AM, as most people slept, we were off for the summit. By 7:45 AM all three rope teams had made it. By 1:00 PM we were back at Timberline Lodge eating lunch and recounting our experiences. Climbing a mountain can be tough and takes hours to accomplish. Nothing compares though to the journey that many woman (and men) face each day in their fight against breast cancer.