Student leads female mountaineering trip

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Senior Katie Oliver has put together a Women’s empowerment Mountaineering trip to Mount Adams, which will take place in the early part of May.

Oliver said that she wants to leave a mark on Outdoor Pursuits after she graduates and that this is a perfect way to do that. Oliver said that mountaineering requires ideal weather and planning a trip can be tough, but she is confident that weather will not be a problem in early May.

She said that the snow should be in perfect condition by then and that she looks forward to the trip.

Mount Adams is one of the tallest peaks in the Cascades and will have plenty of snow well into the summer. Oliver and the Outdoor Pursuits staff are currently training the women that plan to go to snow shoe and use ice picks the proper way, along with workout plans that will properly prepare them for the trip.

Oliver said she chose Mount Adams because she has summited it before and she pushed herself extremely hard. She wants to show that women can do mountaineering trips just as well as men.

“If I can get a group of girls up on the top of a mountain and be able to say, ‘look we can do this too,’ its something I hope is encouraging to other women and is something that catches on in the future,” Oliver said.

Oliver said there is a misconception among the outdoors community that women cannot do the same things as men can and that women generally stay and help cook and set up camp rather than climb and go on adventures.

Oliver hopes that this trip will empower women to do things like rock climbing and mountaineering that are so widely done by men.

“A lot more males come out of Outdoor Pursuits being able to go mountaineering or rock climbing so I think it is important to develop more females to do these things without being dependent on someone else,” Oliver said.

Oliver has teamed up with Biology professor Paige Baugher to train the participants in snow school and physical fitness. Oliver said that everyone is doing their own type of training but her and Baugher are pushing them to do hikes and carry weight with them when they train.

Oliver said that mental toughness, commitment, perseverance and strength are the attributes that are needed to summit a mountain like Adams. She said that she is happy with who has signed up and that the women that have signed up so far all encompass these attributes and are passionate about going.


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