Sunday, September 09, 2007

Sunday Sierrablogging

Spotted Fawn Lake
Spotted Fawn Lake before dawn, Yosemite National Park.

And in other Sierra news, how cool is this?

The Bay Area's Bob Coomber became the first person in a wheelchair to summit 14,246-foot White Mountain, California's third-highest peak, after a grueling high-altitude ordeal above tree-line last week.

Coomber had tried to climb White Mountain four other times in the past three years, but each time was turned back by mountain sickness, that is, waves of dizziness, severe shortness of breath and rapid heartbeat from sustained exposure to high elevations....

White Mountain is located east of Bishop in Mono County on the edge of the California/Nevada border. Of the state's highest mountains, it is behind only Mount Whitney (14,497 feet) and Mount Williamson (14,403 feet). It is not conical, like Mount Shasta, but a high, sloping whaleback, all of it above tree-line in a rocky, austere setting. The trail is a primitive road in stages of disrepair, originally built to provide access to the White Mountain High Altitude Research Station....

As an active youth, Coomber hiked, fished and aspired to become a police officer, but diabetes and debilitating osteoporosis ended that dream. At the age of 31, he was confined to life in a wheelchair....

What is next for Four Wheel Bob?

"I want to see if Kilimanjaro is in our future," he said with a grin. "Maybe next year."
I know Bob from the Backpacker Magazine forums. He's a genuinely good guy with a great spirit, and it's wonderful to see him achieve his dreams.