The Six Majors

Summer, 1969
under construction

The Mountaineers is the premier mountaineering organization of western Washington state. Somehow, most of my climbing friends and I never got around to joining, perhaps because we preferred less structure. However, there was one thing about the Mountaineers that sparked our imagination:
To encourage devotion to their own mountains it has been decreed that any member who ascends the six major peaks may wear the pin designed to honor such achievement. The six major peaks of Washington in the order of their elevation are Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Olympus.
—from: Mountaineering by E. S. Meany
After climbing Mount Baker as part of the Basic Mountaineering course we signed up for the summer climbing seminar and climbed Mount Rainier and Mount Olympus. This put Tom and I within reach of a seldom achieved feat: climbing all Six Majors within a single year.

The experience we had gained from the course and seminar gave us the confidence to tackle the remaining peaks ourselves. Glacier Peak was an undertaking because of a long approach (about 10 miles to a base camp). We joined some hiking friends from work to make a long weekend, hiking in 5 miles to a nice campground by Kennedy Hot Springs where we left them and continued on to a base camp on the side of the mountain. The climb was fun but uneventful.

We completed our goal by climbing both Mount Adams and Mount Saint Helens in a single three-day weekend at the end of summer.

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