Two weeks ago, we told you about the Portland chapter of SheJumps.org 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.