No mountain too high to climb for girls’ education !
What do 9 marine scientists, 2 nurses, 1 veterinarian and a lawyer have in common? Aside from being incredibly bright Canadian women, this group of 13 took on the enormous task of climbing Mt. Albert Edward in support of girls’ education.
Standing in their way was a 3-day hike up Vancouver Island’s sixth highest mountain – a taxing 35 kilometres there and back to be exact.
The story behind the climb
The group began their trek on a rainy Friday. Spirits were high, despite rainy conditions. The 13 women made their way towards base camp, slippery conditions and all. Misty Mt. Albert Edward provided the ladies with a beautiful backdrop as they hiked. After a wet night a base camp, the group was thrilled to wake up to a spectacular sunny day. As the mist cleared the mountain, the women gear up for an exciting trip to the summit of Mt. Albert Edward. The terrain gets more challenging the higher the women climb but the group sticks together every step of the way. Getting closer to the top, the women can't help but stop to notice their incredible surroundings and how far they've come. They made it! All 13 of the women pose together in their Because I am a Girl t-shirts at the summit of Mt. Albert Edward. One more group shot before they descend down the mountain, and before the change in weather comes rolling in. An incredible view of the rolling mist sweeping across Mt. Albert Edward on the way down from summit.
“We thought this would be a really good challenge for us,” said event organizer, Robyn Forrest. Robyn teamed up with Janelle Curtis, a close colleague and avid climber, and together they began recruiting teammates. To their joy, 11 more women signed up to take on Mt. Albert Edward.
“We had a group of women within a range of different careers, and educational backgrounds, but also a range in mountaineering experience,” explained Janelle, a member of the Alpine Club of Canada.
But there was more behind the trek up the mountain. These women wanted to make a difference.
“Education was so important to us and we really wanted every girl in the world to have the same opportunities, and to live in a world without discrimination,” said Robyn. “That’s all we could hope for ourselves.”
Setting goals and setting the pace
The aptly named team, Educated Women for Educating Girls chose to support Because I am a Girl by providing scholarships to girls in the developing world.
Their goal was to raise $6,867 – that’s 1 dollar for every elevated step taken up Mt. Albert Edward. They set up their website through Climb for Change, and with no expectations, began fundraising.
“We were absolutely amazed with how much support we were shown,” said Robyn. In fact, the group changed their fundraising goal not once but twice, surpassing their original goal, raising $9,397 – and counting!
A wild journey up to the top
The group set forth on their journey on a Friday, starting at Mt. Washington. It was a three day experience, filled with emotion, incredible spirit and lasting memories.
Home safe and sound, with newfound purpose
After 3 days of grueling conditions, the team completed their journey safe and sound. Emotions swept the group as they celebrated their incredible feat.
“There were tears of joy and tears of accomplishment,” said Janelle. “Not only did we achieve something from a fundraising point-of-view and make a difference in the lives or girls but we all had this real sense of accomplishment getting to the summit despite the torrential rain, the snow, the sleet,and the mud.”
We’re so proud of the team,and look forward to hearing about their next climb and future successes.
You can help send girls to school by supporting the Because I am a Girl project today!