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Mt. Rainier’s Disappointment Cleaver Delivers

August 24, 2016
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Insight Global on the summit of Mt. Rainier.

All three Climb to Fight Cancer teams summited Mt. Rainier this summer.

When climbing Mt. Rainier, there are times your mind takes you to your aching muscles, tired heartbeat and possibly blistered feet. Once you take your footsteps onto the upper mountain above Camp Muir (beyond 10,000 ft), the vast beauty is overwhelming.

There are times when ascending Mt. Rainier that I expect mystical creatures or a chorus to appear, the surroundings are just that grand. Everything appears bigger in reality than it looks on postcards or social media. The crevasses are wider, the seracs taller and the sunsets deeper. It is a true accomplishment to even *contemplate* climbing Mt. Rainier, let alone raising over $5,000 for Fred Hutch and squeezing into a pair of mountaineering boots. Having myself been on the receiving end of Mt. Rainier’s harshness when an ailment strikes, I know the mountain can feel as remote as the moon.

July 15-17 marked the summit of the entire Insight Global corporate team. Insight Global and their partners and employees raised over $40,000 for breakthrough cancer research at Fred Hutch. These individuals were a true team, supporting one another in fundraising, training and on their rope teams.

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Our August 6-8 team on the summit.

August allowed for two more Climb to Fight Cancer teams to summit, August 6-8 was Lydig Construction (Yippee – Congratulations!) and repeat climber JP Spicer-Escalante who has climbed with us before on Mt. Hood and shared his touching connection to cancer research.

August 15-17 brought the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Montrose Search and Rescue team. This team climbed their first Climb to Fight Cancer mountain in 2007; it was the Emmons route on Mt. Rainier. In the last nine years, they have raised over $129,000 while climbing Mts. Rainier, Hood and Baker. Their partnership with the Climb to Fight Cancer has saved lives and changed lives.

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Montrose SAR climber  John Rodarte on the Ingraham Flats ~ 11,200 feet

Whenever I’m asked what my favorite mountain is, I always reply, “whichever one I’m on.” This is always true in the moment but I secretly know my favorite is Mt. Rainier. It stares at those of us who reside in western Washington and provides excitement when the views are particularly surreal. It is the welcome mat when you fly into SeaTac airport and the view is a reward after multiple days of rain.

I’ve loved standing on top of it, and also treasured the trips where I didn’t summit.

Thank you to all our 2016 Mt. Rainier participants and the donors who support them. Mt. Rainier teams raised nearly $110,000 toward life-saving research.

Climb a Mountain. Save a Life.

Pictured: Montrose Search & Rescue members Mike Leum on Mt. Rainier; Mike Leum and Robert Sheedy at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center on August 11, 2016.

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