Accès Sommet 2017
A challenge met with solidarity throughout adversity
By Christian Séguin
It was under a bright sunshine that the thirteen adventurers of the 2017 Access Summit team, including a 13-year-old teenager, began their trek into the mountains in the early afternoon of June 30th. First goal: the summit of Mount Adams which is the second highest summit in the New Hampshire White Mountains presidential chain after Mount Washington, which is 1.917 meters (6.288 feet) high and the ultimate goal of the challenge. Some five hours later, two thirds the way up the mountain, the troop reached a first stage arriving at the Gray Knob refuge for dinner and for the night.
The next day with the sun still shinning on the team, they reached another goal: conquering Mount Adams, and did so before noon. As the day progressed however, the microclimate of the White Mountains began to get disruptive, and became hostile in the afternoon. The sky turned cloudy, the temperature dropped, the wind rose up and then it began pouring heavily.
«The weather was no longer our friend,” says Marjorie O’Bomsawin, the organizer of the challenge. The wind was so violent that the rain was falling horizontally! We had to go around the peaks of Clay and Jefferson Mountains that we had planned to climb, because the rocks we had planed to walk over were slippery and it slowed us down. We had to continue while crouching to avoid being blown over by gusts of wind. It was cold, it was dangerous and we did not want to risk nightfall arriving before we arrived at the top. We were very happy to have experienced climbers with us. Without them, we would have been in trouble. Last year, people died making this ascent, which can be very treacherous as we noticed. We were well prepared and supported by pros, which served us well. Completing this challenging climb reminded us of why we were taking on this trek. We found our motivation to go all the way by thinking of all the people with disabilities for whom walking is not possible and even to move is often a challenge. »
After ten hours of climbing, of which many were spent in difficult circumstances, the team finally reached the summit of Mount Washington, where even taking the picture to record the moment was a challenge due to weather conditions. The adventurers, exhausted but strengthened by an ongoing solidarity, which never faltered throughout the ascent, could finally declare mission accomplished. And doubly so, since the team succeeded to raise the substantial sum of $9,218.87 for the Fondation MÉMO-Qc, far exceeding its goal of $6,000. Congratulations to the thirteen participants for their amazing accomplishment and a huge thank you for their generous gift!
Source : Paraquad, No. 138- Summer 2017
Photo of the official delivery of the funds raised by Défi Accès Sommet to the Fondation MÉMO-Qc