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Gettin’ Jiggy with a Blizzard…(and not the DQ kind)

June 28, 2011

A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but thank goodness for video because how do you accurately document a wind storm at 10,000 feet with a photograph? Over Memorial Day weekend I was able to participate in the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer on Mt. Shasta.  It was the first time I climbed Shasta and we had a great group of folks.

As you can tell by the video clip, we didn’t summit.  We did get to spend two great days on the mountain and our group made it to a high camp of 10,400 feet. It all ended when we had a blizzard and high winds all night and into the morning of our intended summit pitch. Saturday afternoon had been great.  We arrived early, set up camp, practiced snow skills and had a delicious dinner.  That evening is when it all turned south…or well in this case, right at us.  We had 30-40 mph winds, snow all night and the temperature was around 15 degrees.  With the wind chill, we dipped into the minus digits that night.  I would’ve rather had a Blizzard from Dairy Queen.

It was a long night and I need a warmer sleeping bag.  Mine is rated to 15 degrees and it was chilly.  It is not uncommon to keep a few items in your sleeping bag to keep them warm.  I had camera batteries, headlamp, socks, boot liners, puffy coat, gloves, memory cards in mine…so I was cold and cramped. That is the way mountain climbing is sometimes.  You make do and persevere, just like those battling breast cancer.

I don’t know personally what it is like to battle breast cancer or any other disease.  But I do know the women who do battle breast cancer are resilient, they struggle and work hard to overcome the odds.  So if doing my part for breast cancer research is spending the night in a tent at 10,400 feet and dealing with a little cold, well I will gladly do it again.

Here is a slide show of the trip, and a group smiling faces, doing their part and working together for a common goal.

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