Road to Mt. Baker with President Becker
You know Dr. Mark Becker as the president of Georgia State University, but you might not know he’s also an avid mountain climber. In May he’ll be combining the two pursuits by taking 10 Georgia State students with him to Washington State for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of attempting to summit Mt. Baker. They’ll begin their eight-day trip, with Co-Leader Carson Tortorige, by exploring the Seattle area and Washington’s beautiful San Juan Islands. From there they’ll travel to the mountains where guides from the American Alpine Institute will facilitate two days of mountaineering training, including traveling on a rope team, ice climbing, and crevasse rescue techniques. The trip will culminate with a two-day summit attempt on the south side of Mt. Baker.
While working as a team, students will begin to develop an appreciation of their intrinsic motivators that will help them understand perceived obstacles and set bigger goals. By the end of our journey the students will have acquired important life skills that can be transferred to future personal and professional settings.There is no doubt that these students, who range widely in climbing and outdoor experience, will be challenged mentally, emotionally, and physically.
The trip will cost $1,695 per student, which includes flights, lodging, transportation, guide fees and some technical gear. Adding the cost of food, the trip will total about $2,000 per student. Our crowdfunding goal is for each student to go completely cost-free. Many of the students selected to join the trip do not have the financial means to pay in full and may not be able to participate if we’re unable to cover the entire cost. This is an amazing opportunity for these Georgia State students and an experience President Becker is looking forward to sharing with them. Please make a donation to the "Road to Mt. Baker with President Becker” and follow along with our progress on this website.
President Becker climbing Mt. Washington in New Hampshire.
“Road to Mt. Baker with President Becker” is being sponsored by Touch the Earth outdoor recreation program within the Department of Recreational Services. Touch the Earth provides Georgia State students with a wide variety of outdoor educational experiences with over 100 outdoor wilderness trips per year for the campus community, including everything from paddling trips and rock climbing to day hikes and overnight backpacking trips. At 10,778 feet above sea level, Mt. Baker presents the biggest challenge of any trip offered through Touch the Earth to date.
During the climb, students will camp in tents and travel with backpacks containing up to 40 pounds of equipment each. Temperatures will drop as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and conditions will be unpredictable. The Mt. Baker trail system includes mud, rocks, snow and ice and will be physically challenging for even the most experienced climbers. The students will spend the months leading up to the trip training individually, as well as with a designated personal trainer, and will follow a structured training regimen. The leaders will evaluate them as a group during four mandatory and progressive “checkpoint” hikes around Georgia.