Burien sisters Carol & Katie Roll climb Mt. Rainier for breast cancer research


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Katie, Carol and friend Lisa at Disappointment Cleaver

Katie Roll, Carol Roll and friend Lisa at Disappointment Cleaver.

Burien sisters Carol and Katie Roll climbed Mt. Rainier last weekend to raise funds for breast cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Carol Roll, 31, a 6-year Burien resident, summited Mt. Rainier for her third time (twice this summer) on Friday, Aug. 9. She first joined the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer event back in 2007 when she climbed Mt. Rainier via the Ingraham glacier route. After that she was hooked, climbing both local and international peaks like Hood, Adams, Shasta and Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Katie Roll, 28, recently moved to Burien. She was new to mountain climbing before joining Climb to Fight Breast Cancer for the first time this year. While an avid hiker and a former Forest Service firefighter she had never taken on a physical challenge this big before. On the mountain Katie used crampons and an ice ax (climbing tools) for her first time and learned about traveling on a rope team. A pre-existing knee condition prevented Katie from reaching the summit, but she climbed much higher than she ever had before – to the top of Disappointment Cleaver at 12,500 ft.

For Carol and Katie the Climb to Fight Breast Cancer is very personal. Having lost their aunt to breast cancer in 2001, and with another aunt recently in remission, they decided that this was a challenging and rewarding way to DO something about the disease. For decades, The Hutch has been at the forefront of cancer and autoimmune disease research. By funding The Hutch Carol and Katie hope that people fighting this disease will have greater options for treatment and prevention in the future.

Together Carol and Katie spent 6 months training and fundraising for the climb. They spent weekends climbing in the Enchantments, and local peaks like Granite, Si, Mailbox and Tiger. During the week Carol opted to run or stair climb at Highline Athletic Club, while Katie spent hours stair climbing at Golden Gardens. They hosted a scavenger hunt, asked friends and family for donations and Katie even brewed her own beer to raise funds for their climb.

The Roll sisters were joined by six other climbers from all over the United States on their Rainier attempt. Together, the eight climbers raised close to $45,000 for breast cancer research. This Rainier climb, via the Disappointment Cleaver Route, brought challenging conditions this year for climbers. The team had to navigate around potential ice and rock falls, walk across ladders suspended above crevasses, and endure thunderstorms while camping on the glacier at 11,000 ft. The team reached the summit in high winds on Friday evening and then descended safely back to the Paradise parking lot on Saturday morning.

Carol and Katie are making plans for another climb in the future, they just haven’t come to an agreement on which peak they want to climb next!

Climb to Fight Breast Cancer expeditions offer opportunities for participants of all skill levels to have fun and be challenged in honor of those who have battled breast cancer. The Climb offers 13 domestic and international peaks, including Mt Rainier.

For more information about Climb to Fight Breast Cancer or to donate visit: www.fhcrc.org/climb.

Here are some photos from the climb (click images to see larger versions):

The Hutch team at Ingraham Flats

Carol crossing a ladder over a crevase

Carol with prayer flags for cancer survivors at summit

Hutch Climbers hiking up to Camp Muir

Katie, Carol and friend Lisa at Paradise

The Hutch team at Mt Rainier summit

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