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Summit of ruth mtn

Team Survivor Northwest: Showing Cancer Who’s Boss

Meet­ing the chal­lenges on Ruth Moun­tain in the North Cas­cades, this team of women pushed their lim­its and raised some mon­ey in the process. Read more about last sum­mer’s climb and what’s hap­pen­ing this upcom­ing sea­son for fundrais­ing climbs.

Sto­ry by Lau­ren C.

I’m a grey-haired 61-year-old can­cer sur­vivor and I’m climb­ing mountains!

Get­ting and stay­ing active, par­tic­u­lar­ly fol­low­ing a can­cer diag­no­sis, is such an impor­tant part of our phys­i­cal AND men­tal well-being. I’ve had the oppor­tu­ni­ty now to climb two moun­tains with Moun­tain Mad­ness: Mount Adams and Ruth Moun­tain. I would nev­er before have even had on my buck­et list the idea of climb­ing a snow-cov­ered moun­tain, let alone climb­ing a glacier! 

Ruth Mountain with climbing route in the North Cascades and Mountain Madness

Both have been such tremen­dous expe­ri­ences, and I am so grate­ful for the part­ner­ship that Moun­tain Mad­ness has had with Team Sur­vivor NW (TSNW) to make this hap­pen. Team Survivor’s mis­sion is to empow­er all women who have had a can­cer diag­no­sis to THRIVE through fit­ness, edu­ca­tion, and com­mu­ni­ty. One of TSNW’s pro­grams starts with months of increas­ing­ly hard­er train­ing hikes cul­mi­nat­ing in a chal­leng­ing moun­tain climb for a group of 1 – 2 dozen women.

Part of the pro­gram is fundrais­ing for TSNW. It always seems like it’s going to be scary, but it is part of the chal­lenge we take on, and it always turns out bet­ter and eas­i­er than I expect­ed! Hav­ing now raised mon­ey for three climbs, each time I find it remark­able and grat­i­fy­ing how gen­er­ous peo­ple can be, even dis­tant acquain­tances and long-ago class­mates. Some give in mem­o­ry or hon­or of their loved ones, oth­ers give to help sup­port me and my climb/​cancer jour­ney specif­i­cal­ly, many give know­ing that it sup­ports a larg­er orga­ni­za­tion that sat­is­fies a real need; often it is a com­bi­na­tion of these things. 

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North casades hiking

For me, per­son­al­ly, fundrais­ing led me to slow­ly become more pub­lic about my can­cer. And that was a sur­pris­ing­ly free­ing thing. It empow­ered me to talk open­ly about my can­cer which then helped me help oth­ers that are new­er or still strug­gling in their can­cer jour­neys. Can­cer doesn’t define me, but it has giv­en me a won­der­ful sil­ver lin­ing of the com­radery and sup­port I’ve found at Team Sur­vivor NW… includ­ing LOTS of oth­er great, deter­mined, and pos­i­tive women to hike, snow­shoe, and strength train with!!

Ruth mtn climb
Ruth mountain summit climb

TSNW has part­nered with Moun­tain Mad­ness for recent tech­ni­cal climbs, with Moun­tain Mad­ness very gen­er­ous­ly con­tribut­ing above and beyond what nor­mal­ly would be pro­vid­ed. Moun­tain Mad­ness guides Jesse and Sasha under­stood that as can­cer sur­vivors, our goal in train­ing all sum­mer and chal­leng­ing our­selves with the final climb up Ruth Moun­tain was not nec­es­sar­i­ly to become moun­taineers or even to sum­mit the moun­tain (although that was great!!!). More impor­tant­ly, it was part of our jour­neys to reclaim our bod­ies from can­cer and take con­trol. With each step, we showed can­cer who was boss!

—Writ­ten by Lau­ren C of Seat­tle, WA

Summer 2024 All-women’s Mount Baker Climbs

This sum­mer Moun­tain Mad­ness is part­ner­ing with local Seat­tle moun­tain coach, Lisa Thomp­son to cre­ate two all-women’s Bak­er teams this year. Because prepa­ra­tion is so crit­i­cal for any moun­tain endeav­or, this climb will include three months of cus­tomized coach­ing from Lisa’s com­pa­ny, Alpine Ath­let­ics. She will help you pre­pare phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly for the chal­lenge of Mount Bak­er and she’ll join us on the mountain. 

Summit of Mount Baker

This climb is also about sup­port­ing women in need, that’s why we’ve part­nered with North­west Hope and Heal­ing, a local non-prof­it that pro­vides imme­di­ate finan­cial sup­port to women fight­ing breast and genealog­i­cal cancers.

Join us for a fun, sup­port­ive climb for a mean­ing­ful cause.

Dates: July 19 – 21 or August 6 — 8

$1125 — climb (free ice axe, har­ness, hel­met, cram­pon rental)

$500 — NWHH dona­tion (option­al: they will pro­vide fundraising/​donation and dona­tion support)

$400/​month cus­tomized coach­ing (20% dis­count)- optional

Call 800−328−5925 or email info@​mountainmadness.​com for details. Con­tact Lisa through the above link to learn more about the training.