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More Than Mountains

May 18, 2012

Mt. St. Helens. Photo by Colin Stapp.

I climbed Mt. St. Helens over the weekend.  It was a beautiful day and perfect conditions for the first trip of the season.  I got to climb with my friends, Kevin and Lynn. We are all participating in Climb to Fight Breast Cancer trips this year. Kevin is preparing for Denali and Lynn and I will be climbing Mt. Hood and Mt. Shasta together.

As we sat chatting during one of our breaks, I thought of an aspect of the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer that I treasure. It is the friendships I have made with many of the other climbers. Each year I participate, I meet wonderful people, like Lynn and Kevin. We’ve all known each other for years now, live close by, and get to climb together often.

I keep in touch with many of the people I have met on the climbs. We’ve been stuck in tents during rainstorms and blizzards, come up with names for our rope teams (Go team BAMF), witnessed beautiful sunrises, and have celebrated on many summits. Time might pass between contact, but once we meet up on a peak, we pick up where we left off and enjoy being on a team again.

Kevin Dier, Lynn Lippert and Colin Stapp on the summit of Mt. St. Helens, photo by Ryan Brewer.

Our trip last Saturday wasn’t just a climb. It was an opportunity for friends to come together and enjoy the outdoors while preparing for our respective trips this summer. It was also a chance for us to meet new people. While on the summit, we met Ryan, who is active duty Navy. He was on his very first mountain climb. We befriended him and he joined us on our descent and for burgers back in town.

At the end of a very long day while driving home it hit me. Getting out climbing is great, but it is more than mountains that makes the experience truly wonderful.

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