Hey everyone! David here from Rainier Watch, meet Brittany & Nashrah! They recently came to me because they are working on fundraising for the American Lung Association. And if they are successful they will climb Mount Rainier via a guided tour! It sounded like a great cause and the following is their story with some Q&A!
Hello there! We are both 28-year-old females obsessed with the outdoors and trying to find purpose as we approach a year of COVID lockdowns. Brittany is in her first year post-graduate school training as a resident physician after being a recent transplant from South Dakota. Nashrah works in global health to help eliminate corneal blindness and has been enjoying Washington State for most of her life. The two of us have found a real passion for hiking tough trails, exchanging interesting life stories and spoiling our dogs: Izzy, the Great Dane and Hobbs, the Blue Nose Pitbull.
This past fall, we committed to a huge cause and formed ‘Team Mountain MazNess‘ as we participate in the American Lung Association’s (ALA) Climb for Clean Air. If we are able to raise the minimum amount, we will get a guided climb up Mt. Rainier! This year’s fundraiser is unlike any other because the ALA has released a $25 million initiative to end COVID-19 and to defend against future respiratory viruses! No matter who you are you have been affected by COVID-19. This disease has affected more than just our physical health and safety; the negative impact on our mental health has been substantial. Additionally, life for individuals with underlying lung disease have had a particularly tough time right now. This fundraiser will not only needed from COVID, but also build community based education programs, fight for cleaner air standards and fund life-saving research. The sooner we make the moves forward the quicker our family, friends, colleagues and peers can breath easy.
Visit our team fundraising page here to see how you can make a difference today and support this cause. With a small tax deductible donation we will be one step closer to our goal!
When did you decide to start this project?
It mostly happened by accident over the past few months. Brittany was hoping to get introduced to the world of mountaineering during her time in the Pacific Northwest. Nashrah had been told about the fundraiser with the ALA in 2020 but with COVID19 the climb was moved to 2021 – conveniently for us though to be able to form Team Mountain MazNess! Brittany as a health care worker and Nashrah in Global Health have seen the devastating impact of the virus in hospitals both nationally and internationally. Raising money for COVID-19 research and clean air, while getting the opportunity to climb a mountain is the perfect combination of our passions.
Have you ever climbed a mountain?
Brittany has never climbed a mountain, and though Nashrah has climbed a few we both seem to have the ‘go big or go home‘ mindset when it comes to sports of our choice. We both are guilty going too hard too fast with Brittany’s first backpacking trip ever being an 1,000 mile section of the Appalachian Trail and Nashrah’s first backpacking trip being 32 miles/8,000 ft above sea level in Glacier National Park. Since our first naïve endeavors with gear we barely knew how to use, we accomplished a lot but our list of mountaineering climbs and breathtaking hikes, seems to grow weekly!
Why Mount Rainier over other mountains?
Simply stated – she’s our muse! Nashrah has been just slightly obsessed with the mountain since being able to see it from her bedroom window growing up. Brittany moved from the Mid-West without any mountains around her! For us both, it is fairly easy to be captivated by the massive mountain covered in glaciers looming in our city’s backyard!
How are you training for big climb?
We will be working out harder than we have ever worked out before! Rainier is in a league of her own and we need to make sure we are fit to battle any elevation sickness and fatigue that may kick in at any point before the 14,411 ft summit. Between working out at our home gym and hiking weekly we will be stepping out of our comfort zones in every way. Over the next few months, we will increase the weight we lift and the amount of weight we carry up hikes in our packs. We will be doing timed hikes with goals for elevation gain per mile per hour. Exhaustive times ahead!
How can others get involved?
We have to raise the minimum of $8500 by May! As if that wasn’t a lofty enough goal we have increased the amount to $10,000 just to challenge ourselves a bit more! We need the support of our networks both financially and word of mouth! Please donate what you can to our fundraiser and share this with just a few other people who you think may be interested in donating as well. The power in numbers is strong enough to share the importance of clean air, resources for better lung health education and prevention of future respiratory virus’ like COVID-19! Thank you for supporting us and the American Lung Association!