If you Like our Facebook Page, you might have seen a post about Sherry Erickson and her Climb Against the Odds. Lafes donated to support Sherry in her climb up Mount Shasta. The team climb is organized every year in support of the Breast Cancer Fund‘s groundbreaking work to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to the toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.
Sherry was kind enough to share the experience of her climb with us…
"It was fun! Hard. No, brutal. Exhilarating. My asthma kicked in on the climb to base camp (due to drought conditions the trail was so dusty that I often had to pause for the dust in front of me to settle enough to continue). Didn’t anticipate this. Also didn’t anticipate the pace. Two of us (57 years old) were roped up with 25-35 year olds, and from the moment we hit the trail the pace was full out, pausing only briefly for sips of water and a quick bite of a bar.
I trained for six months, hard. So hard that I didn’t have a sore muscle in my body after getting back (except my neck from holding up the helmet at a curious angle against the backpack).
Nevertheless, at about 12,500 the asthma took control and I could no longer breathe, and so now I was 1,600 feet short of the summit when I had to turn around. I never quite got control of my breathing after the hard start and was moving too slow. They have a rule that if you don’t anticipate summiting by a certain time, they turn you around so as to get everyone off the mountain in a timely manner. There were a few of us who had to turn around due to time.
The bummer was that I had just done a fourteener here in Colorado the week before which might have been my mistake, as that is when my asthma flared up. I could have saved my energy (and my wind) for Shasta but didn’t foresee it flaring that badly.
That said I am going to continue training (booked my personal trainer for a year) and plan to join the team next year! I’ll train differently, (not so hard the week before the climb) and have requested that those of us who might be slower for whatever reason get to start an hour or so earlier. A 2am start wasn’t early enough to keep up with those whippersnappers.
As one of our guides said, “Summiting is optional, getting down safely is mandatory”. It was a 3-hour hike down after we turned around, and I couldn’t have agreed with him more in that moment.
All is well, and next year will be different. Thank you for your support!!!
At the end of the day the image that I was left with was this: WAY. TOO. MANY. FLAGS. ON. THAT. MOUNTAIN. Too many names, too many flags, too many of our sisters lost due to whatever reasons breast cancer was allowed to flourish and prevail in their bodies.
Thanks to Lafe’s and others who have made a commitment to get the chemicals out of our bodycare products, hopefully this too shall come to pass…
Have a great weekend!"
Sherry, you are awesome! We look forward to hearing about next years climb!
Sherry will be participating in the 2015 climbing team. Interested in joining the team? Sign up for the next Climb Against the Odds here.