Definition of a Friend

Top Runner Up

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I really didn’t think I could make it up Mt. Shasta the 2nd time I tried. On California Challenge 08′ I struggled and struggled… but I was turned around at 12,500ft because of altitude sickness. I knew it would not be my last time on the mountain after I was defeated the first time, and I was right. Two years later, I found myself at the base of Mt. Shasta again on the Peak Leadership 10′ trip. This time, I knew it would be war.

Every step I took starting at the 2am departure time was a struggle. We were hiking with crampons and ice axes, and just trying hard not to fall off the face of the steep slope, let alone advance another inch. There were many times I wanted to give up…. turn around to my warm comfortable tent and my sleeping bag and just forget it.

My friends wouldn’t let me quit. They knew that this climb meant so much to me… and no matter how tired I was they supported me, and I supported them back. We all walked together checking on each other constantly… we made sure we were safe doing switchbacks, and while attached to ropes we supported each other when someone slipped.

Because of my trip-mates, which became friends, which turned to family, I have been to the summit of Mt. Shasta. I know now because of them what it means to be a true friend… and I know what it means to fight hard for something and have people there to support you. It was the hardest 15 hours of my life up and down that mountain, but feeling of total happiness and success I felt when I took those final steps is one I will never forget. Adventure Treks taught me through this experience and many others like it in my 5 years about true friendships, and I know that the friends I made over the years will stay true for life.

Sierra C

Climb Mt. Shasta on the California Challenge Summit a major mountain on many of our trips!

13 thoughts on “Definition of a Friend

  1. Great article! I saw all the pictures, and give you a lot of credit! You also helped others who were struggling – which is a testament to your character.
    Very mature for a 17 year old!

  2. My dear – Tell the rest of the story, “why you climbed the mtn in the first place”! Now thats the real story of dedication & friendship. (& show the summit picture).
    Also love the “Joy to the World” picture at the top.

  3. Sierra, Congratulations! You are undoubtedly a girl of many talents! What a great accomplishment to have persevered the difficulties of such an arduous climb. Reaching the summit had to be the most exhilarating experience! Good luck doing Everest! Hope you take the same support team….friends together can do amazing things for sure. Stay safe and God Bless!

  4. Sierra,’

    How brave you were to reach a wonderful goal.
    It took a great deal of courage.

    I remember the first time I went downhill on a pair of cross country skiis in VT. I was a wreck but did it!

    Congratulations!

  5. Sierra,
    first of all, love the skirts.
    secondly i enjoyed your short story.
    your expedition is preparation for life
    you are on your way to becoming a success!
    congratulations, you are a driven women.

    Joan Siddiqui
    cousin

  6. Quite an accomplishment there girl! Love the summit pic.
    I enjoyed reading about your challenge. I had one myself years ago as youth group leader in our church. Theme for our challenge was Leap of faith. Climb to the top of mt. then repel off the face down to the bottom, truly was a leap of faith for all who finally gave up their fears.
    Keep up the good work!

  7. Sierra,
    You are an always courageous, ever persevering and truly dedicated individual. Contratulations on reaching the summit!

  8. SIERRA,CONGRATS!!! “I FEEL EVERYTHING AROUND US IS A PART OF US AND CONTAINS AN ENERGY THAT CAN BE FELT INWARD AND OUTWARD I REFER TO THIS ENERGY AS A SPIRITUALLY-DRIVEN SOURCE THAT KEEPS ALL LIFE AND OTHERWISE IN BALANCE” AFTER YOUR VISION OF STANDING ON THE TOP OF MT. SHASTA AND THE PREPARATION LEADING TO THIS GREATNESS OF ACCOMPLISHMENT, YOU FELT THIS ENERGY – KEEP UP THE VISION – LOVE AND PROUD OF YOU, AUNT SHARON

  9. Great story, Sierra. I love your tu-tu’s too! Nice color’s! Great picture on top of Mt. Shasta with your friends. The courage and stamina it took to do what you did on your Adventure Trek was amazing. I’m so proud of you. Love ya xo

  10. Sisi, that was one of the best days of my life. Climbing (falling) down that mountain with you at the end of that day, laughing and singing and sliding down the snow, is one of my best AT memories. You’re the best friend anyone could ask for. I am proud to be able to say I summitted that mountain with you. There’s no one else I’d rather have shared that moment with (except of course my other AT sisters– love you Kiks and Sparkles!) Those fifteen hours were tough but absolutely worth every second, especially when we finally got to whip out the famous tutus at the top of Misery Hill! You’re an amazing person and such an inspiration. I am so lucky to call you my friend.

    I can’t wait to see you tomorrow!!!! YAY MINI-REUNION!!! Love you hat sister :) <3

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