August 7, 2014
When I first climbed Mt Rainier back in 1970, I was 15 years old. Since then I have done it every year, close to 300 times now. Last week I went to the top again, making it 45 years in a row, but this climb marked a different kind of milestone, as I was able to share the climb with my 14 year old daughter Audrey. She did a great job on her first ascent of Rainier, and we stood together on Columbia Crest at 6:30am on July 31. I was proud to watch her deal with the challenges along the way and it helped me remember what it was like 45 years ago for me (I think I suffered a lot more than she did!). What also made this trip special was the fact that I think this was the first time in 42 years that I did not lead a rope team as a guide. Instead, Audrey and I joined six climbers and four IMG guides on one of our 3.5 day climbs, and enjoyed climbing Mt Rainier just for ourselves. Guide Emily Johnston led our rope and, along with our climb leader Jason Edwards and guides Peter Adams and Eric Remza, did a great job, with our entire IMG group reaching Columbia Crest. It was great to just be a dad and go climbing with your kid, relive some memories, and make some new ones!