One Boulder at a Time

Blog, Making a Difference

Whether shredding down the slopes or pounding up the trails, adventure women Britt Hermanski and Laura Grieser are always looking for the next outdoor thrill ride.

“I love anything that gets me away from the big city and out in nature where I can think clearly and breathe deeply!” said Laura, the Portland Area Director of SheJumps, an organization dedicated to supporting outdoor engagement and education programs for women.

Laura and Britt’s most recent endeavor is a 3-day all women’s climb up Mt. Shasta, taking place now! They set out yesterday and will climb through the weekend. The trip idea sprouted at a weekly meeting for SheJumps, where Lisa Mattis of Big City Mountaineers held a seminar about Big City Mountaineers’ Summit for Someone program. When Britt, PDX Co-Chair of the discount gear website “The Clymb”, first heard about it, she was hooked.

“I thought, ‘Wait a minute—I can climb a mountain with a group of rad women and raise funds to support youth to get outside? Why wouldn’t I do it?’”

Big City Mountaineers is a non-profit group that organizes week-long wilderness expeditions to provide at-risk urban youth with valuable opportunities to learn and grow through experience with nature. In order to raise money for these trips, BCM created Summit for Someone, a fundraising program that offers guided climbs up 13 different peaks, Mt. Shasta among them.

“I’ve always felt very fortunate to have grown up surrounded by such an outdoorsy, active family, and hope that through my efforts, young kids can experience the same joy that I do in the open country,” Laura said.

Led by Shasta Mountain Guides, Laura and Britt plan to conquer the volcano’s 14,179 feet with five other ladies from SheJumps and “The Clymb.” The trek will cover the “picturesque and rarely traveled” West Face route up to Mt. Shasta’s summit. Despite the mountain’s tough terrain, both Britt and Laura are up for the challenges.

“The inspiration I feel when I am surrounded by a bunch of other women climbing a mountain is only going to push me harder to get to the top,” Britt said.

Laura derives her motivation from a piece of advice her father gave her when she was 5-years-old, faced with the task of crossing a large boulder field at Rocky Mountain National Park.

“One boulder at a time.”

Visit Summit for Someone to donate to Big City Mountaineers (one of Women’s Adventure’s non-profit partners) and learn more about their fundraiser climbs.

Last modified: May 6, 2013

3 Responses to :
One Boulder at a Time

  1. Skip - Laura's dad says:

    Jaime, thank you for your nicely done and inspiring article about Britt, Laura, SheJumps and TheClymb, Big City Mountaineers, and Summit for Someone. As for the “lessons of the boulder field,” as our family calls it, Laura deserves credit. When her mom thought out loud that five-year old Laura would never make it across the huge, seemingly daunting boulder field, Laura answered, “Yes, I will.” She carefully chose her path — sometimes an easy step to the next boulder, sometimes a leap, and sometimes, I gave her a hand. We used to watch the animated movie, “The Land Before Time.” When the diverse group of dinosaurs had conquered the many challenges in their own adventure and finally reached The Great Valley, they exclaimed with joy, “We did it together!” By the way, Britt, Laura, and their SheJumps and Clymb friends were the only team to reach the Summit of Mt. Shasta yesterday, in what Laura described as a demanding, humbling, and rewarding experience. A peak experience.

  2. KEEN Recess Team says:

    “I love anything that gets me away from the big city and out in nature where I can think clearly and breathe deeply!”

    Love that quote. The KEEN Recess Team is inspired by people like you who make getting outdoors a priority. Recess is a rallying cry for adults and kids alike to take a break from the daily grind, get outside and create their own playground. We’d love to have your expertise and input on our Recess page: You can add your favorite destinations and photos.

    KEEN Recess Team

  3. Jessica says:

    Great article! Thanks for sharing their story!

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