Bay Area Wilderness Training

Climb Shasta and Rainier with BAWT

Earth Island News

What can you get for less than 25 cents per foot that will give you a lifetime of memories, help you meet an exhilarating personal challenge, and provide incredible opportunities to thousands of urban kids? BAWT thinks there’s no better bargain than their fifth annual Climbing for Kids event.

Once again this year, professionally certified mountain guides will lead novice and experienced climbers on expeditions up two of the tallest volcanoes in the Lower 48 — 14,162-foot Mt. Shasta in northern California, and 14,410-foot Mt. Rainier in Washington state.

BAWT has thought of every detail to make these trips fun, safe, and rewarding for all the participants. BAWT provides all gear necessary for the climb, plus weekend training sessions and pre-trip meetings, access to professional personal trainers, technical training, and all meals during the climb.

At the end of the event, climbers will walk away with not only the gratification of helping Northern California urban youth experience the power and beauty of California’s wilderness, but also approximately $1,200 worth of equipment. Corporate sponsors have donated shell jackets and pants, sleeping bags and pads, headlamps, glacier glasses, internal frame packs, gaiters, and trekking poles for participants to keep after the climb.

BAWT2003 Climbing for Kids participants on the summit of Mt. Shasta

Participants must pledge to raise or contribute a minimum of $3,000 for the Shasta expedition and $3,200 for Rainer. Proceeds from the climbs will help BAWT fulfill its mission to create opportunities for urban youth to experience wilderness firsthand by training educators and providing youth groups with access to quality outdoor equipment. Proceeds from both climbs will support BAWT programs for youth and youth leaders. Eighty percent of climb sponsorship funds go directly towards BAWT program delivery. The other 20 percent covers climb costs, guide fees, and the BAWT staff necessary to make the climb possible.

“Raising that much money may sound like a daunting proposition to some people,” says Founder and CEO Kyle MacDonald, “but we don’t want that to feel like the hardest part of the climb.” In order to help with the financial component of the trip, BAWT has compiled a booklet of creative ways to reach out to potential sponsors. The booklet, which is available online, includes a step-by-step timeline, sample letters, and inventive suggestions from past participants.

The Climbing for Kids Web site ( also provides a comprehensive overview of what to expect on the climbs, including specific information about both mountains and the certified professional guide services, an extensive FAQ section, photos and video from previous climbs, a registration page, and much more.

Like most of BAWT’s fund-raising events, Climbing for Kids shows that the staff walks its talk. Whether they arrange to lead folks on a whitewater rafting trip or take them sailing on the San Francisco Bay, the BAWT crew lives to be outdoors. To date, BAWT has gotten over 3,745 youth out of the city and into the woods, many of them for the first time. Nearly 80 percent of the kids that BAWT reaches are from minority backgrounds. Not content to make this a “once only” experience, BAWT has developed a network of ongoing opportunities for urban youth by creating outdoor education programs within hundreds of schools and youth-serving agencies around the San Francisco Bay Area.

Registration for Climbing for Kids is on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be limited to a total of 33 available spots – nine for Mt. Rainier (August 11 to 14), and 24 for Mt. Shasta (July 7 to 10).

you’d like to make this the year you tackle a personal challenge and
enable urban youth to have similar experiences through their own unique
wilderness adventures, visit the Climbing for Kids Web site (, call (415) 788-3666 ext. 237, or email BAWT at

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