While most York County residents battled fiery temperatures during the heat wave over the past week, two Yorkers braved icy and snowy conditions while climbing a 14,179-foot California mountain as part of a breast cancer fundraiser.
Bernadette Green, 48, and her boyfriend Dr. Steven Heird, were among 34 breast cancer survivors and individuals touched by the disease who completed the Breast Cancer Fund's 12th Climb Against the Odds on Thursday.
Only 22 climbers, including Green and Heird, finished the two-day expedition to the top of Mount Shasta, said Green, who was a first-time climber this year. Heird was no stranger to Shasta, as he has climbed the mountain three times.
Last year, Heird and his team of climbers were unable to reach the top of Mount Shasta because of inclement weather; however, he reached the top of the mountain his first time climbing Shasta two years ago.
Fundraising: The York pair hosted fundraisers over the past year and raised $12,000 for this year's climb, which was
a little bit less than what they'd hoped to raise, Green said.
To date, the event has raised $568,000 to support the Breast Cancer Fund's work to identify and eliminate the environmental causes of the disease, said fund spokeswoman Shannon Coughlin.
Money raised by the team of hikers will be used for research to help connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in everyday environments.
The hike was especially sentimental for Green, a thyroid cancer survivor. She believes hiking to raise money and awareness to benefit cancer research is the least she can do to help other victims of cancer, she said.
Preparation: The pair's preparation for this year's climb included daily hikes at Lake Redman and training for a triathlon, Green said.
"The high altitude of the mountain was something I really had to work at; it was a physical challenge. I trained enough for it and I was confident that I'd finish," said Green.
The team's biggest obstacle during the hike was poor visibility because of fog on the mountain and adapting to changing weather conditions and temperatures, she said.
When the team departed, the weather was summer-like with warm temperatures; however, during the climb, they encountered freezing temperatures, ice and snow, she said.
"We had great weather; it was perfect for the climb. Once the fog disappeared it was a pleasant climb," she said, noting she will definitely consider participating in the climb again next year.
-- Reach Lauren Whetzel at 505-5432 or email@example.com.