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Battling the Odds on a Mountainside

June 11, 2012

If summit success is defined by belly laughs, birthday cake, new buddies, epic snowfall, loyal friends, delicious food, ski slopes, courage, persistence and all-out effort, then this weekend’s mountaineers had it in the bag.

Mt. Hood climbers were pummeled with wind, rain, sleet and snow.  The summit was closed for business to everyone – experts, novices and beginners. Our team gave their all.  It’s not whether you reach the summit or not, but whether you move a great cause forward.  Our climbers, each of them, did that, for the women in their lives, and everyone else.

Having witnessed many wintery June days on Mt. Hood, the skies loomed dark and unfriendly when the team headed for “Snow School” on Saturday to learn the fundamentals of mountaineering. They spent hours perfecting self-arrest, cramponing, and safe rope travel.  Unbelievably, they came back from snow school, raring to go, without a complaint about the ever-increasing precipitation pelting their outerwear.

After slumbering for a few hours, they all got up at midnight and departed at 1 am on snowcats into relentless winds. The plan was to climb through the middle of the night and summit at sunrise, but so harsh were the conditions, that Portland Parks & Recreation guides turned the team around at 10,200 feet.

The participation of Lynn Lippert, nearing 70, embodied the heart of Climb to Fight Breast Cancer participants. Research dollars of yesterday made possible treatments to beat back the cancer now inhabiting her bones. She’s paying it forward by raising money for tomorrow’s research to help future survivors. Your choice to participate in, and donate to, the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer, funds the breakthrough research that leads to life-saving discoveries.

Just as Lynn, and the survivors and honorees in your lives, don’t give up, we won’t either.  We’ll keep kicking steps, raising dollars, and shouting over the wind.

With gratitude and thanks to the endless supporters making these acts of courage possible.

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