I’m stoked. Last year my older brother trained for and ran his first marathon (the NY Marathon). So when talking with him over Chinese New Year I asked what he plans to do this year and he replied, “how about us three brothers climb Mount Ranier?” Then this morning he sent each of us an email stating that he’s already spoken with an experienced guide, a former head of Outward Bound, who can take us up the mountain (conditions permitting) this July.
I mentioned it to my wife this morning and she was fairly receptive (I would go without her, but I was afraid she might find it to dangerous, too expensive or too time consuming).
I would looooove to do it. I’ve climbed lots of mountains, including a few 14,000 footers in Colorado, up to 17,800 feet in Nepal, and I tried doing Mount Shasta once (in California) but couldn’t make it to the top due to the steep snow fields, but I’ve never climbed a peak with ropes, crampons and ice axe.
I recognize that Ranier is seriously dangerous, lots of people have died on it and only 65% of all who attempt it make it to the top. At 14,411 ft (4,392 meters) it’s the most heavily glaciated peak in the continental US (not including Alaska). But, I’m confident with proper training (lots of cycling, hiking and other exercise) it should be possible. I expect the guide service will provide all the specialized gear that we need and will train us on its use. Heck, novices hire guides to climb Everest all the time; surely Rainier can’t be too insurmountable.
Anyway, like I said, I’m stoked. It’s far from certain yet, but I’m very seriously considering it. Of course it’ll be an experience never to forget. And, I turn 50 this summer, so I had been searching for an awesome challenge to strive for and surmount to show myself I’m not all that old. This would do that. My older brother’s 52, very strong, and once did a guided climb of a big South American peak. My younger brother’s 48 and also very fit, so it’s just up to me to do my part.
Well, enough words. Here she is.