All-Woman Team Summits Shasta


Two weeks ago, we told you about the Port­land chap­ter of part­ner­ing with Big City Moun­taineers for their Sum­mit For Some­one pro­gram. The team of 7 would sum­mit Mt. Shas­ta, rais­ing funds so that under-resourced urban youth could have access to their own moun­taineer­ing experiences.

Fueled by excite­ment and weeks of antic­i­pa­tion, Clymb team mem­bers Britt, Lau­ra, Jen­ny and Keel­ie hit the road on Thurs­day for a 6‑hour dri­ve to Shas­ta City, Cal­i­for­nia. After meet­ing their guides on Fri­day morn­ing and run­ning through a gear check, the ladies hit the trail. The fore­cast was call­ing for sus­tained winds of 60–70mph with gusts up to 105. With winds this high, the group was forced to change their route and game plan, mov­ing camp high­er their sec­ond night and push­ing for an extra long sum­mit day.

“At that point, we were all get­ting ner­vous that the sum­mit might not hap­pen,” explained Britt. “We had spent so much time fundrais­ing and plan­ning for the trip that we remained hope­ful the winds would calm down.”

With two female guides and sev­en female climbers, the team of nine became quite the spec­ta­cle on the mountain.

“The look on peo­ples faces as our long line of ladies climbed through oth­er camps, pass­ing groups along the way only gave us more moti­va­tion to get to the top,” said Britt. “You could hear peo­ple cheer­ing on girl pow­er as we climbed higher.”

After hours of climb­ing the women final­ly reached Shas­ta’s 14,180 foot peak! “We were sur­prised to learn that we were the only full guid­ed group that made it to the top that day. High winds and gusts up to 50mph had sev­er­al peo­ple turn­ing back down the mountain.”

Phys­i­cal­ly exhaust­ed, the girls knew that the sum­mit meant that they were only halfway done and car­ried back on down the moun­tain. Shas­ta climber, Lau­ra reflects on the climb as being “the most men­tal­ly chal­leng­ing, phys­i­cal­ly demand­ing, hum­bling and reward­ing expe­ri­ence of her life.”

Still sun­burned, notice­ably tired and sore, the women received a warm wel­come back to Clymb­HQ where some are already plan­ning their next peak.