Meet our Mount Rainier Women’s Climbers!

Our Mount Rainier Women’s Climb is now full,  but we’ve gotten most of the participants to introduce themselves. Want to participate in one of our other climbs (including our Mount Shasta Women’s Climb)?  E-mail Brendan at or call 303-271-9200, ext. 403.

Name: Alicia MacLeay

Location: Rome, Maine

About me: I’m the co-founder and editor of, mother of two (5 and 1), and an avid hiker, skier, backpacker, and trail runner. Before having my two kids I was a regular ice climber and winter hiker. I’m happy to say that our family gets outdoors into the woods and mountains year-round, but some of my and my husband’s more demanding activities have fallen off while I was pregnant or nursing. Now, I’ve recently begun looking for opportunities to ramp up my outdoor activities again and get back to climbing more and higher mountains.

Why I’m climbing:
I’ve wanted to participate in a Summit for Someone climb for several years, but this is the first time it worked with my personal schedule (note the kids mentioned above). I think it’s really important to introduce kids from all backgrounds to the outdoors, to to empower them and support positive, healthy lifestyles, but also to build a generation of kids who care about the outdoors and who will work to conserve those special places for generations to come.

On Trailspace, we often encourage our members to get involved taking kids outside and we support organizations that do so. But, participating in a Summit for Someone climb is a way to make it more personal.

Oh, I also just really love mountains! So, I’m excited to climb Mount Rainier.


Name: Amy O’Connell

Location: Petaluma, California

About me: I’m the Creative Services Manager for CamelBak, and mother of two. I’ve volunteered on BCM backpacking trips, and this will be my third SFS climb.

Why I’m climbing: I never thought climbing mountains would become ‘my thing’ when I was pushing one of my inner city teens to get up what she considered a mountain of her own. How could I possibly push her up what I considered a small hill if I didn’t know how she was feeling? It was at that moment 3 summers ago, that I decided to sign up for a Summit For Someone climb up Mt. Shasta. Never climbing before and being afraid of heights, I had no idea what I was getting into. What I didn’t realize was how much I would LOVE the solitude of the mountains, exhilaration, pride and feeling of accomplishment climbing would bring me. This summer I will be climbing a 3rd time with Summit For Someone. My BCM girls inspired me to climb and I am so grateful that BCM and SFS have given me the opportunity to inspire others. I am a wife, mother, volunteer, and now…a climber!


Name: Candace J. Edmonston

Location: Seattle, Washington

About me: I moved to the foothills of Mt. Rainier from the desert of Las Vegas in the fourth grade and have spent countless hours over my life staring in awe of her beauty.  Never in all those years have I ever considered climbing her!  So this will be my first.

For the last two years I’ve been a serious rock climber, spending so much time at my local rock gym that they offered me a job!  I’m the newly appointed marketing and co-program director at Kitsap Vertical World in Bremerton, WA.

Why am I climbing? Outdoor sports such as rock climbing and surfing have introduced me to more inspirational and amazing people than any other profession or activity I’ve been involved in. (Sara and Tiffany being two of them.)  Diving into the beauty and sometimes nerve racking situations that nature has to offer has been one of the most influential elements in my life.  Being surrounded by something bigger than yourself can help put life, even a hectic one, back in perspective.  In short, spending a great deal of my time invested in activities that take me outside have helped me grow into the person I am today.  I believe everyone should have that opportunity.  The opportunity to meet some of the amazing folks that play outdoors, experience more of the beauty and adventures this earth has to offer, and of course be given the opportunity to grow from the experience.

Climbing Mt. Rainier with the Summit for Someone program is just as much for me as it is for these kids.  This is a chance for me to push beyond my limits, meet amazing people, and grow from the adventure.  Giving these kids the chance to have life-influencing experiences as well as myself, was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.


Name: Katie Levy

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

About Me: I grew up in beautiful Ithaca, NY spending summers on the St. Lawrence River drawing maps of underwater landscapes and pretending I was an adventurer. After a long competitive swimming career in college, I realized I’d been missing out on outdoor activities I didn’t know existed, and fulfill me in a way I’d never known. I took a women’s rock climbing class at my alma mater, Cornell University, and I was hooked.

My career led me straight to Alaska, and subsequently to continue pursuing climbing, backpacking, hiking, anything I could do to get outside. I currently work in business development for a corporation in Philadelphia and am a guide for TerraMar Adventures in my spare time. I blog about my adventures of all sorts at

Why I’m Climbing: Being outdoors, learning about and advocating for the wild places I hold so dear is one of my greatest passions. And an even greater passion is sharing these places with others. That’s why Big City Mountaineers is so important to me; helping provide at-risk youth opportunities to experience the outdoors is one of the most worthy causes I can think of.

I’ve backpacked, hiked, and climbed in National Parks and wild places around the country, but never thought I’d have the skills or the drive to climb a big mountain. I never thought I could be like the women I read about in books and magazines. But I realized there’s nothing stopping me, and climbing with such an incredible group of women, including friends Sara and Tiffany, is an opportunity I can’t pass up!


Name: Hillary Harding

Location: Denver, Colorado

About me: I am a 35-year-old mother of two. I have worked for BCM for a little over 3 years and this will be my second Summit for Someone climb. In 2008 I climbed Mt. Hood. I was still nursing my daughter at that point so I packed my pump all the way to the Hood summit. I will not be hauling the pump up Rainier, although I could make that my own weird version of the Seven Summits!

Why I’m climbing: I summitted Rainier in 2004 as a tribute to my father. It was so hard but so meaningful. This year I hope to summit not for those that have passed on but for those that have come in to my life since. I also need a challenge  to whip me back in to some kind of shape. I also love the idea of climbing a mountain like Rainier with a bunch of women. When I climbed 5 years ago I was one of 2 women among 18 clients and  5 or 6 guides. Finally, and maybe most importantly I’m climbing because I can. The mountain is there and waits for us to climb. Now I just need to get ready for it!


Name:  Lory Stimson Stabolepszy (my married name — just haven’t gotten around to changing it after 9 years because I still can’t spell it!)

Location: Great Falls, Virginia

About me: I am a 44-year-old (will be 45 by the climb) mother of two boys aged 6 and 7 (Hank and Chase) who is a stay-at-home mom.  I quit work after 17 years when my husband and I adopted them from Russia 5 1/2 years ago.  I have been married for 9 years and my husband Mike and I love the outdoors.  We fly fish and on occasion hunt together (his real passion).  We spend time in Wyoming every year and the boys love to hike and climb.  I love to travel which my family also loves.  I love to do anything related to the outdoors.  I have been battling chronic Lyme disease for over 15 years and  underwent a year of treatment 9 years ago which has helped somewhat.  I set a goal every year and work toward it which helps to deal with the symptoms.

Why I’m climbing: My father was from Seattle and climbed Rainier in the ’50s. I have a picture up in my hallway of him on one of the routes which I am going to take with me on the climb. He passed away 5 1/2  years ago right after we brought our children home and I recently lost my beloved mother so I am climbing next summer to honor my shared passion for the outdoors with my father and try to deal with the loss my mother.  She was a proper lady who had a flair for the exciting — learning to fly in her 20s (as did my dad) back in the early 40s.  While my mother would be scared to death for me (yet privately relish our shared desire to push ourselves) my father would revel in the fact that we tread the same mountain.


Name: Sara Lingafelter

Location: Seattle, Washington

About me: In my free time, I’m a technical rock climber and writer in the outdoor industry.

After a first career in technology, and a second in law practice, I’ve recently transitioned to the outdoor biz, doing Field Service work for Waypoint Outdoor, the Northwest Sales Representatives for KEEN, Arc’teryx, Vasque, SUUNTO, Solio and Waterbox.

Since November 2007, I’ve blogged about my climbing and outdoor experiences at

Why I’m climbing: I grew up in Port Townsend, Washington — a small town with nearly panoramic views of Washington’s mountains.  It took me until I was an adult to discover that I actually BELONG in those mountains, instead of just looking up at them from sea level.

Climbing has changed my life in more ways than I can count, and I love sharing my love of the outdoor world with others — especially kids. To be able to pursue one of my never-thought-I’d-say-it dreams — attempting Mount Rainier — with an awesome group of women, while raising funds that will help kids get outside? It’s a no-brainer. I couldn’t say no.


Name: Tiffany Royal

Location: Bremerton, Washington

About me: A Midwesterner-turned-Northwest-transplant who has always enjoyed spending time outdoors. Whether it was sitting in my reading tree or playing in the creek as a kid, boating with my dad, running cross country in high school or hiking out here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve always been drawn to trees and fresh air. When I moved out here in 2002, I thought I’d turn into a coffee-drinking, artsy-fartsy hippie writer-type that brooded over a journal and a sketch pad. Whatever. I may be a writer still, but I’d rather be outdoors biking, climbing or skiing.

Why I’m climbing: Because Sara told me to. I’m kidding. The idea of climbing Rainier has lingered in my mind since 2006, after hiking the 93-mile trail that goes around the base of the mountain. However, I never really found the inspiration or the right people to do it with, even after taking a 10-week long mountaineering class in 2007. I told myself though if and when I do it, I’d want to be part of an all-woman team.

That opportunity came last fall when Sara planted the seed in my head. Learning more about Summit For Someone really grabbed me and made me reflect on how much I remember enjoying the outdoors as a kid and teenager. The video on SFS’s Web site finalized the deal for me, especially after hearing the teens reflect on their experiences. I was fortunate to have my own and my heart ached in wanting to make sure others had the same opportunities. And it’s been amazing how much support I’ve received from folks who learn about the cause.

I’d encourage others to do it because I know our team is going to be full of some fantastic women. And I really think the whole process of raising the money, training for the climb, and the climb itself, will be pretty powerful on many many levels, some that may be very surprising to discover within oneself.


To check out our Mount Rainier Women’s Climb, click here.

Questions? Call Brendan at 303-271-9200, ext. 403 or e-mail


2 responses to “Meet our Mount Rainier Women’s Climbers!

  1. michelle clyborne

    Loved reading your comments. We are planning to climb Mt. Rainier summer 2011 with two other girlfriends. Any particular company you would bet your life on to guide us?

    thanks so much

  2. Pingback: Countdown to Rainier: Packing Day One |