Each year, a team from Summit Hut joins about 150 of our closest outdoor friends for a heart-pounding, 38-mile day hike! The goal is to summit 3 of the tallest peaks in Southern California in under 24 hours. It's an incredible physical challenge, but it's also an amazing experience. The camaraderie between stores that are otherwise competeing against eachother is a reminder of why so many of us love the outdoor industry.
My favorite 8000M memory was starting up the second, and most daunting, peak, already feeling quite defeated. The first of the 16+ miles that take you to the summit of San Gorgonio has over 1,000 feet in elevation gain, and it doesn't back off much from there. I made my way up the first couple miles and had slowed to a crawl. Behind me came two chipper hikers, I recognized them as members of a competing retail chain's team. They came up behind me, encouraging me with every step. As they caught me, they offered more encouragement, but more importantly, they offered Oreos and Cheetos! The much appreciated snacks helped me along the way but were not quite enough to push me through the entire 38 miles. I ended up having to turn back due to some pain in my knee, but that story always reminds me of the reason we all love the outdoors. We may have varying objectives when we go outside - some of us are out to log as many miles as we can, some to have a feeling of peace - but more often than not, the hikers you come across are some of the friendliest people you'll meet.
2009 8000M Challenge - Team Summit Hut
This hike is supported by the outdoor team over at Jansport and is a benefit for Big City Mountaineers. BCM mentors under-resourced urban teens through transformative outdoor experiences to enrich lives, broaden horizons and instill critical life skills. This organization does amazing work with youth across the country, and for many of the children they serve, these programs offer their first experiences in the outdoors. If you're reading this blog, you have some sort of passion or interest in the outdoors, and you can almost surely remember the first night you spent under the stars, or the first peak you bagged. Those experiences are not only what spark the passion for the outdoors, they are what make us who we are. Please consider making a donation towards our efforts to raise money for Big City Mountaineers by donating online.