| On Top of the World, SPU Fellows
Washington Peaks as a Team
IT WAS A DREAM come true for Laurie Bannink Peterson ’85.
The former Falcon cross-country runner now lives in Randle, Washington,
within sight of Mount Adams and Mount St. Helens. She has long wanted
to climb the two
peaks but didn’t think she could ever afford to do it — until Fellows
Summit Challenge 2003.
The Society of Fellows at Seattle Pacific University sponsored the June
2003 event that trained and guided alumni and friends of SPU in climbing the
two mountains one week apart. An uncle helped underwrite Peterson’s participation,
and she was thrilled to summit 8,365-foot St. Helens and 12,276-foot Adams. On
St. Helens, the team endured strong winds and blowing ice to reach the top.
Each of the nine Seattle Pacific participants donated $1,000 to the Young Alumni
Council Scholarship Endowment. Two hundred dollars in personal gear was supplied
to every participant by Altrec.com, co-founded by SPU alumni Mike Morford ’92
and Shannon Stowell ’90. The four women and five men also received
five weeks of mountain training from climb leader Phil Pletcher in such areas
as physical conditioning, avalanche survival and the effects of altitude on the
body and mind.
During the training sessions and climbs, the mountaineers bonded and enjoyed
Bible devotions geared around spiritual preparedness and staying in spiritual
shape. They ran stairs on the Seattle Pacific campus, learned navigation
and built a close-knit team.
“We’ve begun online registration for next season’s expedition,” says
team member Mark Miles, associate director for advancement services at SPU. The
goal is to form three teams totaling 30 or more people, with sights set on Mount
Rainier. Those interested are urged to register early at
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