Updated Birthday Challenge for Tom

I finally committed to doing the Valley Rim Tour on June 6. This will no doubt be a stunning hike but for the fact that some will be in the dark. One cool thing about is is often on the hike you can look across at where you're going or where you've been. It's a long hike – significantly more than 50 miles with over 10,000 feet of total vertical rise.

I also have this idea that I will try to get people to pledge to make donations to the American Safe Climbing Association. For more on that, click on the “Read More!” link or just email me with yer pledge.Is the ASCA really holding a hikeathon? No, this is a totally unofficial thing I'm doing to celebrate my birthday, but the ASCA is open for accepting donations 24/7, so it's all good.


I'm going for a long walk for my birthday and had this idea that I would do like when I was a kid and get people to sponsor me for each mile I walk. I'm asking climbers to pledge a donation to the American Safe Climbing Association. You can do this by sending them a check, me a check (made out to them), or by Paypal from their website (http://safeclimbing.org). If you're a climber and have not donated to the ASCA this year, now is the time. Make a pledge and I will agree to hound you to the ends of the earth if you don't come through with it. That's a good thing because you know you want to donate, but you keep forgetting. Send me an email if you want to pledge some money. If you have friends or enemies who might want to support the ASCA, feel free to forward this.


What has the ASCA ever done for you?

Those nice new bolts on your favorite old climb were not put up by kindly elves or the government. They were replaced by volunteers who donate their time and energy to replace the bad and dangerous bolts on countless climbing routes in America. The ASCA has no paid staff and merely coordinates this effort and supplies equipment. Some of this equipment is donated or given cheaply, but they do need to buy a fair number of bolts and they aren't cheap ($50 is about enough to replace 5-10 bolts, roughly an average pitch of sport climbing).

What am I doing?

The idea originally was to walk 41 miles on June 7 for my 41st birthday. That plan has evolved into doing it on June 6 and walking what I call the Yosemite Valley Rim Tour. Basically, I plan to leave from the Wawona Tunnel and hike up and over Sentinel Dome to Glacier Point, up to the top of Half Dome, down the slabs, around the east end of Mirror Lake, up Snow Creek Trail and on over to El Cap and down to the junction with Foresta Road. I figure this to be about 55 miles walking and 10,000 feet of vertical. Those estimates are rough, especially on the vertical. Anyone who has a really good map with mileages for all legs is welcome to get more precise.
Once that's done, I will then be hounding and harassing all pledgers until they verify that they have paid up.

What can you do?

Pledge money. Of course, you can pledge any amount you want, fixed or variable. From my perspective, a certain amount of money per mile would be more motivating. A lot of money per mile will be even more motivating. Yes I can be bought. However, the ASCA is a relatively shoestring operation and any way you pledge is good.

Why is this coming so late?

It's a male thing – fear of commitment. First I had to envision myself arriving at the Foresta Road with a smile on my face, and that took some doing!