This year we were honored to welcome 23 volunteer climbers from across the country who climbed 14,179 ft. Mt. Shasta to challenge the 1 in 8 odds of a woman’s breast cancer diagnosis. Many climbed in honor of their own or a loved one’s experience with breast cancer or other diseases, carrying prayer flags inscribed with names up the mountain. They all climbed for prevention so that no one should have to hear the words “you have breast cancer.”
So far, this team has raised over $355K of their $360K goal to prevent breast cancer. Help them reach their goal!
Event Photos by Ashly Winchester
Event Photos by Austin Meyer
Staff & Climber Photos
10:15am All teams are out of base camp and descending to the trailhead. Supporters will gather at the 5th Season to welcome the climbers home with posters, cow bells, hugs, and cheers!
This incredibly brave team has raised over $351K of their $360K goal to prevent breast cancer. Can you help them reach their goal by tonight?
While a beautiful day at the bottom, 100mph winds at the top of Mt. Shasta
Back at Clear Creek Base Camp, time for treats!
Making creative posters to cheer the climbers on
Connecting with friends old and new, supporters gathered to hand draw posters for every climber. When the climbers arrive back at the bottom, we will greet them with cheers, cowbells, hugs, and the posters to celebrate their incredible journey climbing against all odds to prevent breast cancer.
Superstar supporter Deb Cole makes posters for the 5 New England climbers
Breast cancer survivor and former Climb Against the Odds climber herself, Deb organizes the annual New England Peaks for Prevention, collectively raising over $500K for breast cancer prevention.
When Abbas Ayub's friend Jenny couldn't climb, he climbed in her stead
Abbas, you inspire us all!
New England Climbers looking strong
Jen Avery, Maureen Brown Hardy, and Cynthia Churchwell on Mount Shasta
On Mount Shasta: Patti Betts and Andy Hanshaw
Back Safely at Basecamp: Patti and Andy with guides JC and Hope
6:15pm After a slow and challenging descent, we’re happy to report that everyone is back safely at base camp. There they will rest overnight before breaking camp and coming back down in the morning.
12:12pm The high point today is 13,700′ due to extreme wind conditions, reached by climbers Erika Wilhelm, Nady Bilani, Abbas Ayub (climbing on behalf of Jenny Coyle), Nancy Smith, Erin Kuhlman, Andy Hanshaw, and Patti Betts. A truly impressive feat by all! All climbers are heading down. It’ll be a slow descent for the next couple of hours. We are with you every step of the way climbers, stay strong!
11:31am Sarah Reines‘ tracker checks her in at 13,432 feet. Keep on climbing Sarah!
10:25am Linda Chitwood reached her personal summit at 12,800 feet and has started to descend. Linda, our Mt. Shasta Community Climber this year, has fundraised over $32.5K that will be donated to Mercy Foundation North, a local, non-profit Mt. Shasta medical center. Wow Linda, congratulations on your climb!
Wind has picked up even more. “It’s getting real,” says Rich Meyer Alpine Guide of Shasta Mountain Guides, who is up on the mountain floating between groups. Rich has climbed with us from the beginning of Climb Against the Odds and has personally fundraised over $30K for breast cancer prevention over the years. Thank you for all of your unbelievable efforts Rich <3
10:15am Wanda Cole-Frieman and Chris Pehl have reached their personal summits at 12,800 feet and started their descent. Incredible, we are so proud and grateful for your efforts!
The wind has picked considerably up on the mountain.
9:28am Alexys D’Tiole reached her personal summit of 12,600 feet and has started her descent. Congratulations on your Alexys, you inspire us all!
9:26am Louise Mousseau reached her personal summit at 12,000 feet and has started descent. Thank you so much Louise for your incredible effort!
8:31am Shelby Thorner reached her personal summit at 12,800 feet and has started descent. Amazing Shelby, way to go!
8:10am Jen Gooch Avery, Cynthia Churchwell, and Maureen Brown Hardy checked in to say they’re at 11,700 ft and climbing!
See our Facebook & Instagram stories for more
Photos below by Rich Meyer Alpine Guide of Shasta Mountain Guides
On Mount Shasta: Sarah Reines Heidi Hinrichs Dessa Monat Holly Morris
Sunrise on Mount Shasta, photo by Rich Meyer
Sunrise at Mount Shasta as climbers ascend
Sunrise on Mount Shasta as climbers ascend
Holly Morris and daughter Dessa Monat at a rest stop
Cynthia Churchwell and Heidi Hinrichs at a rest stop
Day 1 – June 14th, 2022
The climbers departed for the trailhead around 1pm, and arrived at base camp by 4pm! They’re setting up tents and headed to snow school. See below for photos of the climbers at gear check this morning. See all photos
Here’s the current itinerary:
• June 14th – Hike to basecamp
• June 15th – Early morning summit attempt, followed by a second night at basecamp.
• June 16th – Return down the mountain.
Last night we joined together for a welcome dinner. After receiving goody bags treats and mountaineering gear, the climbers prepared prayer flags to carry up the mountain on behalf of loved ones, friends, and community members. The flags read: “The wind carries our prayers of love, healing, and remembrance. May we all be well.”
The climbers heard from a Mount Shasta Ranger and Shasta Mountain Guides to prep them for a successful climb. As we say, the summit is optional, but returning safe and sound is mandatory.
Then, climbers shared their personal reasons for climbing against the odds at our seed planting ceremony. Finally, the Board Chair Emerita Ellen Kahn told the story of the talisman originally gifted to BCPP founder Andrea Martin that we carry up the mountain every year, and entrusted it this year to climber Sarah Reines. The second talisman was given to our youngest climber on the team this year, Dessa Monat, daughter of filmmaker Holly Morris. This mother-daughter pair, Dessa and Holly, are climbing together this year.
BCPP Board Member Wanda Cole Frieman
“I am climbing for my baby sister, who is fortunately a survivor but got diagnosed at 36. I’m climbing for my cousin Dale who is 10 years older than me. And most importantly I’m climbing for my grandmother, Essie Taylor.” – BCPP Board Member Wanda Cole-Frieman Her Story
Filmmaker Holly Morris with her daughter Dessa Monat
“We are climbing for my mom, Jeanne Morris, Dessa’s grandmother, who passed away this year. Jeanne was on the Mt. Aconcagua climb some years ago with Andrea Martin, so I think it’s really fitting and poignant that Dessa’s been chosen to take the talisman.” – Holly Morris at the seed planting ceremony
Clif Bar sponsored climbers Alexys D'Tiole and Nady Bilani
Alexys is climbing in honor of her dear friend and basketball buddy who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 20s and recently passed away. Nady is climbing for his brother who was diagnosed with brain cancer last September. “He’s always been a big supporter of mine, so I want to be a big supporter of him as well.”
Cynthia Churchwell, former New England Peaks for Prevention climber
“Knowledge is power. I want to inform as many people as possible how to ELIMINATE CAUSES of cancer.” – Her Story
BCPP staff climber Erika Wilhelm with her family and supporters
Patti Betts, 2x climber in honor of friend Sandy
Last year, Patti climbed with Sandy, her dear friend and breast cancer survivor. This year, she climbs in Sandy’s honor alongside Sandy’s husband, Andy Hanshaw.
Erin Kuhlman, Osprey sponsored climber
“For Erin, this experience is about creating awareness around breast cancer and how we can better protect people and the environment from its risk factors—including toxic contamination.” Her Story
Maureen Brown Hardy, former New England Peaks for Prevention climber
Hailing all the way from Seeconk, MA, Maureen said: “Everyone has been touched in some way by this devastating disease. Together, we’ll make prevention possible.”
Welcome Dinner: BCPP Board Chair Emerita Ellen Kahn tells the talisman story
Every year, two climbers are chosen to carry the talisman up Mt. Shasta. When a climber can’t carry it onward, they pass the talisman to another climber, and so on if need be, in a collective effort to bring the talisman to the summit. in climbing, as in life, we rely on each other to overcome and summit our greatest challenges.
Welcome Dinner: Patti, Andy, and Sandy
Last year, dear friends Patti and Sandy, a breast cancer survivor, climbed Mt. Shasta together in honor of Sandy. This year, Sandy looks on while Patti and Sandy’s husband Andy climb together in her honor.
The team is gathered at Mt. Shasta in Northern California for this 3-day climb journey.