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Mt. Baker ~ The Crown Jewel of the North Cascades

August 27, 2015
Day 1 for the Mt. Baker team. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

Day 1 for the Mt. Baker team. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

Mt. Baker is a landmark, a beacon, a beautiful volcano standing tall in Northern Washington state. It straddles the US- Canadian border and you can see it for miles on either side. It’s the view I grew up with from my hometown, so it’s not a coincidence it was my first Climb to Fight Breast Cancer peak.

Sunrise on Mt. Baker. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

Sunrise on Mt. Baker. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

On July 25-27, a team of dedicated Climb to Fight Breast Cancer adventurers set out to fundraise life-saving dollars for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, while climbing this gorgeous mountain. On the team were Joshua, Chris, Linda, John and Andrea ~ A breast cancer survivor, a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center researcher, and 3 doctor/nurse/heath care providers.  These amazing individuals signed up to climb a mountain to save others. They trained for months, solicited donations from friends, family and colleagues and traveled signifiant distances.

Their journey began at picturesque Schreibers Meadow before ascending the summer climbing route to the Easton Glacier. Getting to the Easton Glacier requires carrying 50 pounds of gear up the famous Railroad Grade, a rock and scree knife-edge trail carved into the hillside.  It drops off on either side.

Summit Day. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

Summit Day. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

After arriving at the campsite hours later, everyone pitched tents, hydrated, ate dinner and rested up after a long day. They had snow school the next day where they reviewed or learned mountaineering techniques.

Mountain sunrises and sunsets are always the grandest. The North Cascades have a magical feeling and one never tires from waking up there. Shadows cast across glaciers, moraines and summits reflect light of thousand colors and the kind of beauty hard to capture with a lens but easy to remember in your mind.

This was a very strong team both in training and in heart. Climbing with a breast cancer survivor always gives these adventures added meaning.

The team crossed crevasses, rocks, and took in all the beauty. They ascended next to the crater and climbed the Roman Wall.

Views from the summit of Mt. Baker are stunning! Turning 360 degrees and the team could see for miles. They looked down into the very elusive Picket Mountain Range, a far away wild place hard to access and truly coveted by mountaineers and backpackers.

Congratulations, Mt. Baker team.

Easton Glacier on Mt. Baker. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

Easton Glacier on Mt. Baker. Photo courtesy of John Rodarte.

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