Name, Age, From:
Jenn Carter, 38, Carnation, WA
When and why she got started climbing:
I grew up backpacking and caving in Tennessee. When I first moved out west, I did a lot of solo backpacking. Climbing was just the next step to experiencing more.
I remeber a 6 day solo backpacking trip to the Glacier Peak wilderness. Some Mountaineers flew past me with helmets and ice axes going at what I thought was a break-neck speed. I thought, “damn! I need to do that!” Not long after, I joined the Mountaineers and 10 years later, I’m still trying to keep up!
Loves mountaineering because:
I love trailhead bivies. Alpine starts. Sunrises on the glacier. Blasting down the mountain to try to get back to the trail before dark. My body in motion for 20+ hours. Eating out of a bag. Pooping in a bag. Sleeping in a bag. Carrying a bag. It’s all sort of a circluar beauty, really.
Least favorite part of mountaineering:
The descent. Of all the times I’ve climbed Mt Rainier, I always say “I’m never walking down this piece of shit ever again!” I really, really need to learn to ski better or paraglide. Or both.
Favorite piece of gear:
My BD Fusions. They are so beautiful, I have them hanging as art in my house (when I’m not using them, that is).
If she had a Spirit Mountain it would be:
Washington’s Mt Stuart. I always say the 2nd gulley going up the the West Ridge is my happy place. 4th class granite to the sky. My friend Paul and I climbed it once together and giggled the whole way up.
What her friends would say about her climbing style, or who she is on the mountain:
They would probably ask me to stop eating so much Chili Mac and Cheese.
How she’s getting in shape for this climb:
So far, I’ve found people to hike and run by headlamp, in the pouring rain, up mountains at night. I wonder how long they’ll stay my friends?
When she’s not climbing, she’s:
Reading to kids at the library, trail running with my best bud, learning to ski, or heading out to the mountains to help as a volunteer with Seattle Mountain Rescue.
First thing she wants to eat when she gets back to town after a climb:
Olives. And avocados. But not together. Separately.
I’m a children’s librarian at a public library. I get to do story time, bookclubs, summer programs and I have a very impressive puppet collection.
Thing she thinks she’ll miss the most while on the mountain:
My dog, best friend and cuddle buddy: Banjo.
Favorite thing about climbing with women:
Women don’t freak out when someone cries. Really, guys… it’s just a stress release. There’s no need to freak out. Crying is normal. We cry a little and then everything is peachy. Just get over it, already.
Thing she thinks will be the hardest about doing this climb:
Next on her climbing list:
El Capitan! I was supposed to do it last year, but my climbing partner had a child care emergency. I’m hoping to celebrate my 40th birthday on the wall!
Favorite climbing quote:
Not really a climbing quote, but part of a poem by the Spanish poet, Antonio Machado:
caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Al andar se hace camino
Roughly translated to:
“Wanderer/ pilgrim, there is no road/ there is no “way”,
We make the road by walking.
By walking we make the road…”
I feel I am a pilgrim into the mountains and that as a team, we will make our journey together. Denali will be, for a few weeks, our mountain, our journey, to make it what we will, together.