[simple_slideshow]

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.

Mem­bers of the Port­land chap­ter of She Jumps

Clymb employ­ees Lau­ra Grieser and Britt Her­man­s­ki are on a mis­sion to get local women out­doors. In Feb­ru­ary 2011, they found­ed the Port­land chap­ter of She­Jumps, an orga­ni­za­tion with a mis­sion to increase female par­tic­i­pa­tion in out­door activ­i­ties. In just over a year, through avalanche safe­ty train­ing, relay races, ski and climb­ing trips, and fundrais­ing, they’ve encour­aged the par­tic­i­pa­tion of women in dozens of out­door activ­i­ties and made Port­land one of the largest of the nation­al orga­ni­za­tion’s 25 chapters.

Now, they’ve teamed up with Big City Moun­taineers to ensure that under-resourced youth can have their own back­coun­try expe­ri­ences. On June 8th, the Port­land ‘jumpers’ will sum­mit Mt. Shas­ta as a part of BCM’s Sum­mit for Some­one pro­gram. They’ll climb Shas­ta’s 14,179 feet via the “West Face,” a scenic yet unpop­u­lar route. As they expe­ri­ence the alpine beau­ty and push their lim­its, they’ll also raise funds to pro­vide youths with men­tor­ing wilder­ness expeditions.

Each of the ‘jumpers’ has pledged to raise $2,500 to ben­e­fit the 300+ under-resourced youth that Big City Moun­taineers serves. With less than 10 days to go, the Port­land She­Jumps team is doing all they can to reach their fundrais­ing goal. If you’re inter­est­ed in donat­ing to the She­Jumps team, you can do so here. Make sure to check back when they return as Clymb employ­ees Lau­ra, Britt, Keel­ie and Jen­ny share sto­ries and pho­tos of their experience.

Lau­ra and Britt on Mt. Hood

Aleya Lit­tle­ton wrote a won­der­ful guest blog for us a few months ago. She talked about all the  peo­ple she has met while climb­ing all over the coun­try. She per­fect­ly summed up the feel­ing of com­mu­ni­ty among climbers.

We were proud to learn that Aleya was cho­sen as the win­ner of the Hanesbrands/Champion What’s Your Ever­est? Con­test. Aleya explains what she plans to do with her winnings:

In July of 2011 I plan to sum­mit Gan­nett Peak with Sum­mit for Some­one, an orga­ni­za­tion that rais­es mon­ey for Big City Moun­taineers (BCM) and takes climbers like me on guid­ed trips. I received $10,000 to pur­sue my per­son­al Ever­est: con­quer­ing a fear of heights while giv­ing back to stu­dents who would nev­er get to expe­ri­ence the out­doors. My plan was to choose a Sum­mit for Some­one climb and see the prize mon­ey to go their sis­ter orga­ni­za­tion, BCM. BCM pro­vides an out­door men­tor­ing expe­ri­ence for under-resourced teens that pos­i­tive­ly impacts their beliefs in them­selves, with regard to age/ethnic diver­si­ty, envi­ron­men­tal aware­ness, and inter­per­son­al rela­tion­ships. Each BCM trip places four or five adult lead­ers with five teens. The groups then go on sev­en-day life-chang­ing out­door excur­sions together.

How awe­some is that? In my time climb­ing and explor­ing the out­doors I’ve learned more about myself than I’ve ever imag­ined. For some of these BCM kids this will be their first expe­ri­ence liv­ing off the grid, learn­ing to trust them­selves and their team mem­bers, push­ing them­selves to the lim­it men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly. Their trip has the poten­tial to change their lives, to give them the con­fi­dence to take charge of their futures and make the tough choice to leave home for col­lege, or resist peer pres­sure. I’m so excit­ed I get to be a part of that process.

We sup­port Aleya, and we hope you will, too.

First, while $10,000 is more than enough to finance a climb, after tax­es (bleh) it is sub­stan­tial­ly less. What I want to do is set a goal for $1,000 ABOVE the min­i­mum com­mit­ment, and for that I will need your help. Please con­sid­er donat­ing $50, $25, or what­ev­er you are moved to con­tribute. For those of you who con­tribute $50 or more you will get a signed DVD with an awe­some video of my adven­ture, as well as some trin­ket from the top (or Wyoming in gen­er­al) I have yet to decide on.

Sec­ond­ly, train­ing for Gan­nett will be hard. I’m not much of a moun­taineer, and Gan­nett is a pret­ty epic trip. It is 40 miles round trip, with 6,000ft of ver­ti­cal gain on sum­mit day. It will undoubt­ed­ly be the hard­est thing I’ve ever done. I’m going to need the extra sup­port and incen­tive you will give. As I take step after step above 10,000 ft I want to chant “For the kids, for my fam­i­ly, for my friends, for me.” I can’t take you to the top in my back­pack, but I’d love for you to accom­pa­ny me in spirit.

If you’re able to make a tax deductible dona­tion, you may do so here.

You can fol­low Aleya’s jour­ney on her site Rock and Sky and on Twit­ter.

For more of Aleya’s sto­ry, check out “Aleya’s Ulti­mate Prize, Mar 11 2010