Mt Rainier June 19, 2000

This was actually 21 years ago on our Anniversary. There must be a reason why it showed up in my memories today.

This climb occurred 6 months after I had a total hysterectomy. Charlie and I spent a day on the lower slopes where he taught me about harness and ropes, glissading, self arrest, crampons..all the things I needed to know to get to the summit.

We made it to Camp Muir which is a climbers bivouac area at 10,000 feet. That meant we had come up 5,000 feet in elevation from the Paradise Lodge Parking lot. After visiting the compost toilet and waiting for Charlie taking his turn, a male climber started hitting on me! (that is one of the funny memories of this event).

Climbing down a little to get away from the crowd of climbers at Camp Muir, we found a spot to camp and at Moon Rocks. I fell asleep in the sun while Charlie put up our tent. He made some soup, and I moved into the tent and my very warm sleeping bag. Exhaustion kept me asleep until the next morning.

This summit was out of my reach, physically at that time. But the true summit is in my mind and in my spirit. Memories take me back. The exhaustion and pain I felt are replaced by the beauty I witnessed and the sense of accomplishment. Some days I feel like I am climbing a mountain, its so challenging just to put one foot in front of the other. Its like climbing stairs on a steep snowfield. On those days I take smaller bites of adventure. Cutting myself some slack I feel good about what I do accomplish. There is always tomorrow.

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