Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Climbing for Kids

It was while winning the shopping cart race I bid farewell to two finger tips. So you can’t say I’ve no spirit of adventure. I like to play outside with the best of them. Snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, snow shoeing, biking (mountain and road), hiking and the like have made me happy for years. These passions are in part what drew me to settle in the beautiful mountains of Idaho. It’s just that peak bagging has not been in the repertoire in the past. So why would I start with the highest point in the lower 48 states? For the kids of course.

This June I will be climbing California’s 14,505 foot Mount Whitney. Though thousands of people climb Whitney every year, a small percentage do it via the “Mountaineer’s Route”. More importantly, fewer folks do it to raise money for at risk, urban youth.

I am participating in the Climbing for Kids event to help raise money for Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT). BAWT is a project of the Earth Island Institute, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. The goal of BAWT is to take kids who are heading down the dangerous and destructive path that urban life can foster, into the mountains to learn about respect for oneself and our world. BAWT trains counselors and lends gear from its extensive library to make these life changing backpacking trips safe and enlightening. Generous support from Backcountry.com (where I feed my gear addiction) and my friends and family are helping to make this possible.

Perhaps some readers might be thinking “I climb Mount Whitney for breakfast”. That is not the case for me, and I assume I’m not alone. Prior to volunteering to raise money I was not someone who climbed mountains. I was inspired by the cause to help some of America’s less fortunate kids. Also having just turned 30, I realized it’s never too late to fulfill a dream. The training has been arduous and exhilarating, not to mention challenging with a full time job, two dogs, a nineteen month old son and a lovely, pregnant wife who seems to want my attention as well.

Donations for this cause are greatly appreciated. If you are interested in learning more and/or donating please visit climbingforkids.org. If you would like to help me reach my fundraising goal, please click on this link. All donations go directly to BAWT and are tax deductible. I will be periodically posting my training activities and will follow up with a climb recap.

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Anonymous Nadene said...

I definitely want to hear about how hard you are training, brother. for my money, I'm hoping for something like Rocky 4 on the plains of Siberia, pulling logs by a chain, lifting bolders, sprinting up the sheer face of a mountain. THEN go home and read to your son and rub your wife's feet!

4/24/2007 6:58 AM

Blogger Nikki said...

Aaron, did you really loose fingertips in the shopping cart race? Pat Becky's tummy for all of us. Have fun & listen to the kids you take for the hike. Love & good luck to you,

4/24/2007 10:10 AM

Blogger powstash said...

Nadene - I'm ROTFL! Classic comment.

Yea, what about the pregnant wife in all of this? She'd better be getting a day at the spa.

Good luck on your training. Should be a memorable climb and rewarding for the kids who will benefit from your fundraising efforts.

4/24/2007 10:17 AM

Blogger Darcy Joy said...

All in a hard days work....AWESOMENESS....Good Luck....Idaho, Oregon, California... ever think to check out ALASKA??? It's awesome here...

4/25/2007 11:00 PM


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