Climbing for Cures #rallyforrhyan
Mountain climbing is more than just a sport for most folks. On many occasions, it has been described as a spiritual experience, similar to that of attending a religious service or setting off on a pilgrimage. It puts things into perspective and forces us to be honest. Punishments and dangers are juxtaposed with rewards and feelings of great achievement. Heavy hearts and superfluous mental burdens are exchanged for the more bearable load of gear and "good" dehydrated morsels. Chipping away at an ice wall can seem existential in a sense, and if Franz Kafka or Albert Camus ever took a crack at it, it would be ruined. However, there are other motivating factors which inspire mountaineers that must be considered.
Looking back over the years, each climb or hike revolved around a singular element: ME. Every time I've climbed, I've done it for myself. The thought of using my time in the outdoors for the benefit of another had never occurred to me, until a chance conversation with a perfect stranger on a plane started the ball rolling for what would inevitably become my next mountaineering quest: completing New Hampshire’s Presidential Traverse in order to raise money and awareness for a child battling stage-four neuroblastoma. Her name is Rhyan, and she is six years old.
Cancer is a tough pill to swallow for an adult. For a parent, I won't even go there. For many cancer-patients, the battle is intense and very, very long. It turns out that Rhyan is receiving treatment not far from where I live. My friend from the plane introduced me to Rhyan's parents, and after getting the "go-ahead", I've begun to spread the word amongst family and friends. The climb will take place at the end of this month, and I am aiming to do it in 24 hours. With your help, this climb could help save a life.