Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Going Up Boy, 11, Climbs to Summit of Mount Rainier

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Going Up Boy, 11, Climbs to Summit of Mount Rainier

Article excerpt

Even in late July, the steady two-mile climb through the Muir Snowfield en route to the summit of Mount Rainier is an arduous challenge. Last month a near whiteout across the snowfield all but blinded the view of the mountain's summit as Adam Bush, 11, his climbing mentor, Mark Allen, and fellow climbers Mike Jungers and Susan Lanahan dug in.

It seemed like the snowfield would never end, Adam said.

"It went so slow. It was so cold. You couldn't see the top," he said. "You just knew you had to go up. You knew you would get there eventually."

After six hours of battling the wind and snow, the four climbing companions built a 3-foot-high snow wall and made camp. At midnight, July 24, the four started their final ascent to the summit of 14,411-foot-high Mount Rainier, near Seattle, Wash.

John Krambrink, chief ranger of Mount Rainier National Park, said the climb up Mount Rainier was one of the most physically challenging of all climbs. He said there was no easy route up the eight-mile distance to R anier's more than two-mile-high summit.

Anyone who makes the Rainier climb needs to be in peak physical condition. He added that although the distance is not as great as with Mounts McKinley and Everest, the aerobic demands of Rainier are so challenging that Rainier is used as practice ground for the longer climbs.

Krambrink said the effects of high altitudes were even greater on climbers younger than their mid-teens.

Adam, of St. Charles, began climbing just a year ago. A fall from a tree left him with a broken collarbone, and he was unable to try out to play hockey as he had planned. Instead he began practice climbing at the indoor climbing wall in the Rec-Plex at St. Peters.

Just for something to do, he said.

At the Rec-Plex, Adam met climbing instructor Mark Allen, 23, whom he later dubbed "Indy."

The two became friends, and Allen became Adam's climbing mentor. …

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