Climb For Clean Air

  July 8 - 9, 2004 
I was on the Summit of Mt Rainier!


This page is for archive purposes.
My 2006 challenge was to ride 220 miles in 2 days and raise
$10,000 for Spinal Cord Society
Please join my quest to help cure cure paralysis.


Train Train Train

Welcome! and thank you for joining me on this incredible adventure! Only through your support, will I make it to the Top of Mt Rainier!

First things first ... why the climb and why become a sponsor?  Well, that could be an easy answer, or it could be a lengthy story. But, for now, let's go with a rather succinct response.

This is a challenge ... and it is human nature to want to succeed. So, in this case, I am serving as YOUR representative in the Climb for Clean Air! I'm providing the TIME, ENERGY and STAMINA to make it to the summit of Mt Rainier and as my sponsors YOU make it possible! Together, we will raise $4,000 or better yet, $14,000 for the American Lung Association of Washington!

Yes ... I would LOVE to be the top fund raiser for this hike! How about you?!!!  With your help, and corporate sponsorship, anything is possible ... 

PLEASE ... get involved!   Do it NOW! :-) 

Ps...  we need hiking gearHelp create a pool of gear that can be used by future climbers!

Organized Training Hikes
err ... now it's Climbs!!

The ALAW wants every climber to make it to the summit. So, they bring in the pros to help us train. On our training hikes, we learn about gear requirements, what we will need for food and WATER and ... about our fellow climbers. We are building more than strength and stamina, we are building friendships and a camaraderie that will enable us to help each other make it to the top!

Hikes and Climbs
Thanks to out INCREDIBLE Trainers, led by Mark Anderson, there were several official training hikes and climbs to get us in shape to reach the summit!  I hope you enjoy my stories ...

Rattle Snake Ledge
Little Si
Tiger Mountain 3
Mt Si
Panorama Point
Pebble Creek in the Sunshine
Pebble Creek in a Blizzard
Climb School with Lou Whittaker
Camp Muir
July 8 --9 Summit Ascent!

Rattle Snake Ledge
My first training hike was to Rattle Snake Ledge. The cool drizzle may have discouraged a few, but this was an excellent introduction in hiking.

 Since it was such a short hike, I figured I'd up the pack weight ... heck, 15 pounds seemed pretty darn light since the goal is to build up to carrying a 45 pound pack. (errrr ... the photos may give a hint that I'll be toting a significant percentage of my body weight!!!)

WHEEE !!!  This was a blast!  I did it and even jogged (with my full pack) to the truck afterwards!

Little Si   Oh My!  
A perfect day for a hike! Again, I figured I would do a little extra and started with 30 pounds instead of 20. Lots and lots of water!

On the way up, we were lured by a rock slide. So, we promised to climb the boulders on the way out. The weather was perfect for tee-shirts and shorts, and there was even a cool breeze to refresh us at the top.

And the view ... It is spectacular to look out over the valley ... and across to the distant ranges. And, during the lunch break, there was a bonus of scrambling up and down the rocks. Ok, I'll admit that there were walking paths around the rocks, but it is so much more fun to scoot straight up!!

And on the way out, as promised, we took the time to climb the rock slide. I would have made it to the top of that too, but ... well ... hollers from the bottom kept saying "That's far enough!!!"  "Don't climb any higher!"  Heck,

After two short (that is a relative term) hikes, I realized how easy it would be to become "hooked" on hiking. There is an amazing sense of accomplishment when returning from a hike carrying a 30 pound pack! 
WOW ... that was ME!  I did it and I feel great!!! (top)

Tiger Moutain, Trail 3
Another great day for a training hike. Nearly 50 of us moved up the trail. Mark set an impressive pace on the way up. But, some of us still managed to visit the entire way. Hey, we need to build our lung capacity. Right!?!!  Ok ok ... yes, I'm having a bit of fun with this.

Many thanks to Tini for loaning me a larger pack. I manage to fill it ... both volume and weight. There's a debate on whether I carried 36 or 38 pounds, but heck, it was only a "20 pound" hike. So, either way, it was a lot! Ya gotta love it, I even had a soft sided cooler with ice. I figured I might as well get some benefit from all that extra weight.

You'll notice that I'm squinting. Oh yes, I had sunglasses, but not in the pictures! It was so bright, that it was tough to focus the camera. Check this out though ... Can you see Mt. Rainier in the background?  

Less than 3 hours round trip. Plenty of time to tackle more. WOW ... This is SOOOOOO exciting. Our training hikes provide opportunities to meet wonderful people, enjoy awesome views AND get into shape.  I can hardly believe that I still had the energy to mow the lawn and do other yard work. (top)

Mount Si!  That the tall ridge beyond North Bend! WOW!  This was another great hike. And, although I didn't climb the haystack, I did scramble up the rocks where we rested for lunch. 
We couldn't have asked for a better day ... sunshine, yet cool enough to climb at a very good pace without killing ourselves.

If you really squint ... or maybe you need to (re) enlarge the photo on the right back up ... you can see Mt. Rainier in the background ... What an inspiration ... I can only imagine what it is going to be like to be ON TOP of Mt. Rainier.
On May 2nd, we're going to take a comfortable walk (aka 2 hour hike) at Rainier. Because on May 9th, there is an official training hike to Pebble Creek.  And, we'll not only need to be there before 9 AM, but we'll need all our snow gear!!!  HELP!! We are still hoping to borrow gear!  If you or someone you know might loan or donate gear, PLEASE let me know right away!!

It may be breathtaking at the top, but there are always great people and interesting sites along the way --- both up and down. It was a blast to take a short break and visit with Steve. And, then ... we ran into this ... hmmm ... I think this guy is taking the Lord of the Rings a bit too seriously!

Anyway, I have have a great time on the hikes. This time, I carried a FORTY POUND PACK!  Yikes! Happily, a good deal of that was delicious Great Harvest Bread which was shared with all the climbers at the top!   THANK YOU Great Harvest!        

Above Panorama Point!!!  7000 feet!  Wanting to get some exposure to higher altitudes and to see what it is like to climb on snow, we headed to Paradise on May 2nd.  (doesn't that should like a great destination -- Paradise!!)  As we were getting arriving at the parking lot, a couple of other ALAW climbers were just leaving. I guess that indicates that we got a very late start. Err.. headed up the slope at 3:30. We decided to only go up a couple of hills, check out the views and come back down. But ... we just kept walking.
After getting accustomed to walking in snow, it didn't seem hard going at all. At our second photo break, a returning climber said that Panorama Point was just around the corner. Well, we were committed then!!   Oh man ... we rounded the corner and it looked like a chair line run in front of us!

The going was much slower, kick in a toe, take a step, kick in a toe, take a step. About 2/3's up, we moved over to walk up the glissade. That was a little easier, but the plateau still seemed a ways off. WOW!!  Talk about breeze. Yes, the winds are stronger near the top! As soon as we reached the little plateau, we realized that the point was yet another level higher. YIKES. The snow tested our reserves by letting our feet fall through. But, we plugged away and WOW!!! it was definitely worth it!!! That is the summit in the photo behind me! Of course, that is a two day not a 2 hour climb. SOOOO AMAZING!

Being a novice, I didn't even know what glissading was. But it is a BLAST!!!! As a cautious person, I kept testing my ability to stop ... I felt like an ungainly gosling -- arms flailing and body swaying. Of course, the pack did it's best to keep me off balance by exaggerating every weight shift.  I laughed so hard I nearly fell down. Heck, the snow was soft, so that was OK too.

Wow, the trip out was a breeze. We took a photo break to capture where we had been .... See the rocks on the center peak ... well, we just came down from there! 
I am SOOOOOO ready for next weekend and the official climb to Pebble Creek!  Bring it on!!!

By the way, I am delighted to report that despite all that stair stepping, there wasn't a sore or over tired muscle on my body!  WHEEEE   The summit is calling and I'll be there! (top)

Pebble Creek, May 9th!  Over 40 climbers participated in our first official training climb. What a great group. It was snowing in the parking lot, so a lot of folks dressed for mildly inclement weather. And, about 10 minutes out, we took a break to start stripping off clothes (heh, thought that would get your attention.) Before we headed up the chute to Panorama Point, there a lot more was peeled off ... down to tank tops for those who would brave the rays.

The break included a short lesson in climbing, breathing and resting. Then, we stair stepped up to Panorama Point. ahhhh I'm practicing the rest lesson <g> sit on your back and stay dry... You can see why we need to drink lots of water ... It is easy to get toasty carry a 34 pound pack (to say nothing of the heavier plastic boots) and climb stairs. --Note, we didn't go up the to vantage point that we enjoyed the previous weekend.

It only took 40 minutes to get from Panorama Point to our destination and lunch break above Pebble Creek. Glorious on a great day. It is amazing to be so warm standing in the snow, but without a wind, this was glorious. Can you believe it ... we are THIS close to Mt Rainier.
For lunch, we shared more delicious Great Harvest Bread! See there is a method to my process ... by carrying in bread for the group, my pack is guaranteed to be lighter heading down the mountain.

We're ready to head down the mountain. It is amazing how a short break, food and water and revitalize a person. Just before heading out, we received a quick lesson in walking down the slopes. No glissading this trip :-{  Instead, we all supposed to maintain a semblance of control and balance ... keep the sliding to a minimum.  Ok, I still had fun because some steps were prettttttty long and my pack was still about 24 pounds, so that helped with the downward momentum. The trek out took less than an hour. The only break was to regroup at the bottom of Panorama Point.

This is great! Can you believe that a novice hiker is already carrying a 34 pound pack up Panorama Point!  WHEE, soon it will be climb school and Camp Muir.

Leaving Rainier, we stopped at Alexander's Cafe for an indredible meal. The presentation really deserved to be pictured here!!!  And, the story is that no one should miss their blackberry pie. I hope that you will all stop into Alexander's and say hi to Melinda. She is amazing AND, she's climbed mountains all over the world! If you are looking for a place to stay on the mountain, this is IT!  hospitality, hot tub, history (built in 1912) and mmmmmmmm incredible food.


Testing our Constitution...  Pebble Creek, May 22
It was snowing on the way and didn't let up all day. This presented a new dilemma about the right gear. And, it was also a bit exciting, because it felt like a little test to see if we were really going to make it. Well, that little test kept gaining strength. The higher we went, the stronger the winds and the heavier the snow. Every break, our guides asked if we wanted to call it a day and head back. The resounding reply was
"We're with the American Lung Association, and we're climbing for clean air!!!" 

Onward and upward. Literally -- the upwards part that is!!  There were a couple of places that the steps in the snow bank were as steep as a ladder. Try that with a 35# pack, wind, cold and snow that felt like needles on your face! Ok, I like a challenge ... but sometimes But, we made it to Pebble Creek. After a very short break --  just long enough to TOTALLY FREEZE my fingers!!! we headed back.

There was only one break on the trip out. And that was only because a rope team crossed our path and split up our group. So, we had to wait until the rest could catch up again. BRRR!!
Anyway, we still managed to bust out of there in record time ... 35 minutes!!  WAHHOOOOO    What a BLAST!  We hit the parking lot and KNEW that we have what it takes!! 
As you can see, there was 4 - 5 inches of new snow protecting our cars!  WHAT A BLAST!! AWESOME!!!  (top)

Climb School  with Lou Whittaker!
Ice axe arrest, no glissading, walk slow, rest step, pressure breath. WHAT is all that stuff??

As you might imagine (and since it is my story) socializing provided many of the highlights for the day! Lou is an amazing man, fun, fit and 80+!! What an attitude! He nearly swept me off my feet <g> --- Too bad we didn't capture that on video! And we all love Joe with his purple boots! Actually, all the RMI guides are terrific. We will be in great hands as we head to the summit.

Climbing with a rope is a new experience. I don't think that I've ever walked that slow!!! On top of everything else that I have to do for training, now I am supposed to learn to SLOW DOWN?? YIKES!!

24 showed up and 24 passed climb school. Another inclement day on the mountain. This time, we were low enough that we were RAINED ON all day!!  Three pair of gloves were soaked. I with gortex mitts, the liners were soaked from the combination of rain and taking them on and off.

Ok ... enough is enough!  Where are the clothing sponsors???  I think I need to go shopping for some cool climbing clothes. Actually, Chrysty should be the official model for our group!      (top)

On The SUMMIT!! 8:30 AM July 9th!!!
I made the Summit!!!
What an incredible climb!!
I'm posting pictures now with a little story. Please check back in
a couple weeks for more stories and photos!!!
Let's have dessert first, cause who knows what the future will bring ... Meaning, we'll start with the summit shots and add a few from the descent!

It was soooo glorious on the summit. After bucking 25+ mph headwinds, we crested the crater at about 8:30 AM! It was so flippin cold that we wore our down parkas from for the last hour and a half climbing! The wind was strong enough to knock me backwards.

 WAAAHHHHOOOO!!! Inside the crater!! What a monumental accomplishment. Not enough time to cross and sign the book and too windy for us to wait for all the groups to get together for a photo. So ... after a half hour to eat and rest, we took some photos and put our gear on to head back down!


It was a pleasure to have Jessica on my rope team! What a delight! As you can see, we are still bundled up and I'm even wearing Marmot Mitts over two layers of glove liners!  YIKES! BRRRR  and every thing else.


Not that you can recognize anyone ... But this is our first rest break on the descent. We're above the Disappointment Cleaver and about to tackle the rocks! This is a critical rest stop because the rocks are treacherous on the way up and even worse on the way down! Plus, we are all dealing with justifiable fatigue!

Anyway, from the left you see Jessica, Bill, Teresa and our leader, Kevin!  WAAAHHHHOOOOO!!! one rope of the FnA team!!!  


It's almost noon and we've been up about twelve hours! So, yes, I'm looking a bit tired, but still exhilerated to be above the clouds. As you see, I'm on par with the peak of Tahoma!!  Knock em Dead!!!


  ahhhh ... there was a relatively safe area, so Kevin let us pause long enough to get a breath and snap a few photos. We had to skirt this Crevasse. This photo does not do it justice. At the left end, the jutting of snow resembled an eagle head ... the black line for the beak and the round circle seemed to be positioned for the eye.  I took a few other photos of ice fields, snow and rock structures. But, looking at them, welll ... they certainly aren't as spectacular as being there!

The WIND!!!  Did I tell you about the wind!  Well, the temperature was dropping and the wind was picking up. DANG! We'd been enjoying shirt sleeves, but crossing the rock and ridges was enough to chill us to the bone! Jessica and I were freezing!

Anyway, we all made it safely back to Camp Muir. Then, we scurried to drink, eat, JOYOUSLY CELEBRATE and get all our gear into our packs! Then, about 2 PM it was our group's turn to head back to Paradise. That brought a new challenge! Not only MORE down hill ... my knees were getting sensitive :-{ ...  but it was socked in! Many of us added a layer of wind pants and jackets. As we descended, it got thicker and thicker, to the point that we couldn't even see the silhouette of someone thirty feet away!  SCARY!!  There is no trail on the snowfield, so we had to keep the group together! Nine climber and three guides. The lead stopped every five or ten minutes to let everyone catch up ... almost the story of the tortoise and hare except this wasn't a race.

The last two miles were torturous for a few of us. We were on rock, gravel and then pavement and my knees were letting me know that they were not liking the shock. To minimize the impact, I side stepped down to my left foot on all the stairs and even down the steeper paved areas.

It was a relief to finally reach the parking lot, shed the pack and boots and rush to the lodge. Fourteen hours and I'm finally getting to put on regular shoes. I CAN MOVE AGAIN!!!  Yikes, two flights DOWN to the room and shower! What kind of justice is that!  A quick shower and I'm still late for the dinner. But, it was worth cleaning up for!!  Heck, by the time I finished dinner, I was ready to dance!!!   LETS GO!!!

WHAAAHHHOOOO   Thirteen of twentyfive made it to the summit!  I will add photos of the certificates and climbers soon. We are sharing photos :-)   TEAM SPIRIT!!


Moving Back In Time ...
Wednesday was a beautiful day for our trip from Paradise to Camp Muir. Our last break was on the snowfields below Camp Muir.






Please check back soon ...
And, I'd love to hear your comments about this site.

Thank you for supporting this monumental endeavor and the ALAW!

The Next Step Is Up to You

Whatever your motivation for sponsoring this climb,
it is the right reason for YOU!

Thank to everyone's support and encouragement
I was on the summit of Mt Rainier on July 9, 2004!!

It is a monumental, once in a lifetime event that I will celebrate for the rest of my life!

I am excited about going on this climb and about making more people aware of American Lung Association and American Lung Association of Washington! " - Teresa Hennig


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