What a totally awe-inspiring week on Mt. Shasta. I'm still trying to put it into words for those who weren't there, to explain the force field of love and community that we created on that mountain, and how all of the climbers transformed a moment of fear and what could have been a disappointing turnaround into expressions of generosity, good fortune and compassion for all. I was blown away by their character, strength and passion.
All that love was expressed in the company of the Climbers, their friends and family, Shasta community members and the Breast Cancer Fund family at the Community Celebration dinner. Jeanne spoke about each climber and what had compelled her or him to climb a mountain for breast cancer prevention, and we each stood in turn for our moment of applause and cheers.
Then Jen and Chris of Shasta Mountain Guides introduced all the guides, including those who had blocked climbers from the boulder and those who were there in honor of their own mothers who had faced breast cancer. Many of the guides request to be on this climb year after year, and they are all part of our community, along with our supporters at The Fifth Season and many other businesses and residents in Shasta.
Finally, more than 200 people strong, we stood, held hands and under hundreds of waving prayer flags--each bearing the name of someone who has faced cancer--we called into the room all those we climbed for. There were tears, but there was also hope in the room that night.
I was honored to be part of this amazing group of climbers and colleagues. My only regret is that I can't climb again next year. But you can!
Finally, I know everyone is eager for photos (I am!), and I hope to have a few to post here in the coming days.