Thursday, May 14, 2009
I was recently awarded the McNeill-Nott Award from the American Alpine Club and Mountain Hardwear. This grant will fund a trip to the Northern BC Coast Mountains near Bella Coola. Mike Pond, Matt Van Biene, Eric Dalzell, and I will attempt the first ascent of a rock and snow ridge. Our plan is to head in mid July, and be home sometime in the first few days of August. We get to fly into our basecamp too! Should be fun! A bigger, nicer helicopter for passenger travel than Mountain Rescue, too. We'll even get seats in this bird! Oooh! Deeeluxe.
Since my freshman year in High School when I saw my friend and mentor Seth wearing a red Seattle Mountain Rescue softshell jacket, I've deemed that the epitome of awesomeness. And I hoped that maybe, just maybe, at some point in my life that I too would be awesome enough to earn a red jacket. That day came yesterday. At 18, I was admitted into the "boys club", as the fourth female. The age requirement was, and still is 21. I'm not sure how that worked, since every other member has to fight for entrance, and the other females tell stories of how ridiculous the admission process was for them. I just sent in my resume with the forms, said I was an EMT, and called back every few weeks to check on my application. No raking over the coals at board meetings, and no bitterness that I can tell. I really don't know what changed their minds about admitting a woman, and I'll never be able to tell you why they let me in three years earlier than their bylaws allow. But I'm super grateful. And so far it's been a blessing. Right as politics are getting ugly in KCESAR, SMR offers me another roster to sign in on, even on the same missions. Also, one must be a member for one year, and fulfill a minimum number of missions, and "prove their probationary worth". After that one year, the board members take a vote, and they deem you worthy or not of a red jacket. I asked, used my recent grant award as a shameless bargaining ploy, and picked up my red jacket yesterday morning. I had gone on the minumum mission number for the year too, but ony 3 months into my membership. And now I'll be able to fly around in the Coast Mountains, throwing down FA's in a shiny candy apple red SMR jacket!