Summit For Someone Gears Up For 2009!

I’ve mentioned the Summit For Someone program before, and by most accounts it was a highly successful year for the organization that hopes to help at risk kids by raising money for Big City Mountaineers, whose goal is to bring memorable and life altering outdoor experiences to urban youth who might not otherwise get the opportunities.

The Summit For Someone program is a simple concept. Those who want to help the cause can sign-up, and choose from a variety of mountains to make a climb attempt on. They’re then tasked with raising a certain amount of money, based on the climb they choose. That money goes to the cause, and the climbers get to go on their climb and get a bunch of new gear to help them along the way.

The registration for 2009 opens next week on the 15th. and there seem to be plenty of options to chose from when it comes to the climbs, including expedition climbs on Denali and Orizaba, as well as a woman’s only climb. One change from past years is that when you signed up, you would receive a gear package that contained most of the items you would need, but this year they will instead give gift cards to of $300, $800, and $1200 values depending on which climbs you sign up for.

The Summit For Someone program is also sponsored by Backpacker Magazine and one climber’s successful fund raising efforts is enough to send five kids and their youth leader, on an outdoor mentoring program during the summer. A worthy cause indeed.

So, if you’re interested in climbing for a cause, and helping out the Big City Mountaineers, while getting some great experience in the mountains, and some cool gear as well, I can’t think of a better way to go about it.

Kraig Becker

5 thoughts on “Summit For Someone Gears Up For 2009!”

  1. I gotta say, it is for a great cause by my only gripe with Summit for Someone is it seems like it has gotten more and more expensive each year it has been around.

    While you are still raising money for a great cause, it used to be fairly affordable for those that wanted to donate the entire amount themselves rather than actually drumming up donations from family and friends.

    Now they are cutting the amount of gear that is offered as part of the package. Previously they relied on gear donations from manufacturers, now you will get a gift card which you will have to spend on gear at retail pricing. Markup on outdoor gear is pretty crazy. Before you were pretty much fully outfitted, now you are going to get a gift card that you can burn up on just a handful of items at full retail markup.

  2. I definitely agree on the gear issues Carl. It’s been dramatically decreased for the rock climbers in particular, who get only a $300 gift card. Granted, their climbs are less expensive as well, but still, it’s definitely a drop what they received in the past, when the gear packages were quite extensive and outfitted you pretty well.

    These gift cards are nice for people who have most of their gear already, but aren’t as useful for those who are just getting started.

  3. Yea, i’ve actually considered doing a Rainier climb through Summit for Someone in the past and the gear package made it very attractive as I have no alpine mountain climbing gear. Now on top of the fundraising fee of $4000 or more i’d have to outfit myself on limited funds. It’s just not going to happen. Now instead of pairing a climb of Rainier with Summit for Someone for a good cause i’d just have to do it by myself through a climbing company at a much lower price point.

  4. Hi guys —

    We decided to get Mountain Gear as a sponsor this year and offer the gift cards so we could better deal with gear issues that were more suited to a retailer than a small nonprofit — like exchanging boots, having the inventory available to outfit 225 climbers, better selection of gear for everyone, etc.

    If you look closely at the gear deal, it’s a gift card in addition to some gear we offered in the past — packs, helmets, etc.

    That said, Carl’s right — it does make more economic sense to just climb Rainier through a guide service rather than through Summit For Someone. But then, of course, the reasons for climbing are a lot different.

    I’m always happy to answer any questions about Summit For Someone at or 303-721-9200.


    Brendan Leonard
    Cause Marketing Coordinator
    Big City Mountaineers

  5. Thanks for the clarification Brendan. It is much appreciated.

    I do think the program is amazing in every sense of the word, and I totally get that while it might be economically more feasible to do a climb on your own, but that’s not the point of Summit For Someone. An enterprising person can raise the funds and get the climb in, plus the cash for the great cause, at the same time.

    I appreciate you stopping by to leave us a note. Keep up the amazing work.

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