President Becker to Climb Mt. Baker
Georgia State University’s President Will Climb Washington State’s Mt. Baker with Students
This May, Georgia State President Mark Becker and ten students will attempt to climb Mount Baker, a glaciated volcano, in Washington’s North Cascade mountain range.No course credit is being offered for making the ascent, according to Becker.
“The functional objective of this trip is to introduce students to the world of glaciated mountaineering. Basic mountain skills, such as walking with crampons, traveling on a rope team, and crevasse rescue will be covered,” he said. “Teamwork, planning and training will be stressed, along with the importance of self-care and personal responsibility.”
Becker is sponsoring the trip with Carson Tortorige, coordinator of Georgia State’s Touch the Earth program.Touch the Earth is part of Georgia State’s Recreational Services and offers outdoor recreational activities including paddling, climbing and cycling, according to the program’s website. They also offer outdoor equipment rentals.
Becker, Tortorige and three trained guides from the American Alpine Institute (AAI) will lead the ascent of Mount Baker.
The cost of the trip is expected to be funded by Touch the Earth scholarships and donations made through Impact Georgia State, the same crowdfunding program that paid for the university’s marching band to play in 2014’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.
Tortorige said Touch the Earth received approximately 55 applications from students wanting to climb Mount Baker with Becker. Only ten candidates will receive official invitations.
Before the journey, students will be required to attend four local hiking training sessions, according to the program description. Students will be expected to carry equipment, camp on snow and climb up to 5,000 feet in a single day. Becker said enjoying cold weather is essential to camping on mountain snow.
“In the weeks and months leading up to the Mount Baker trip, Carson Tortorige and I will work with the participating students to prepare them for conditions we are likely to encounter,” he said. “It is possible that we’ll experience winter and summer within a 24 hour period, from blistering sunshine, or walking in the clouds, to snow and sleet that could force us to abandon our attempt at the summit of Mount Baker.”
by Matthew Wolff | Feb 25, 2015