Well, you said you wanted to move mountains this year. Now’s your chance. Tonight the American Lung Association in Oregon kicks of its Reach the Summit program.
Designed to give experienced and novice climbers a leg up on their quest to tackle some of the West’s great peaks—Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and Grand Teton in Wyoming—Reach the Summit also serves to help promote lung disease research and awareness.
And as the program’s chairperson Stacy Allison notes, because climbers commit to raise funds for the American Lung Association’s efforts, it’s a chance for anyone that’s been affected by lung disease to fight back.
“Many participants climb in honor of a relative or friend who has died from lung cancer while others fulfill their own personal challenge to reach a goal in their own lives,” says Allison, who also happens to know a thing or two about lofty goals—in 1988, Allison became the first American woman to summit Mount Everest.
And while the climbs aren’t planned until this summer, there’s still plenty of work to do. Participants will enjoy a launch party Bridgeport Brewery in February and then will embark on five months worth of weekly training hikes in the Columbia River Gorge and on Mount Hood. Along the way, trainees will receive technical advice to help amp up their snow camping and rock climbing skills, not to mention plenty of firsthand knowhow on strategies to maximize their fundraising.
A bit challenged in the gear department? Not to worry—Columbia Sportswear donates apparel and gear to the cause, and also offers prizes to those who are able to raise the most money.
Can’t make it out tonight? Checkout the full roster of information sessions happening this month.
January 11 REI Hillsboro
January 13 YMCA Salem (685 Court St. NE, Salem)
January 19 REI Tualatin
January 26 REI Portland
January 31 REI Clackamas
All events begin at 7pm