It started with one Triumph Fitness Graduate who wanted to “Pay it Forward”. Crystal Rowland had been an avid hiker, scaling peaks throughout the Sierra Mountains and Pacific Northwest. Then cancer struck. After treatment, her body was so weakened that walking upstairs was a challenge. Hiking became just a dream. When Crystal found Triumph, she found her way back. And as graduation neared, she hatched a plan. She was going to lace up her hiking boots again. She began training with her ultimate goal being to summit Mt. St. Helens. She chose this peak because it had been decimated by the volcanic eruption, and yet survived. And life began returning to its mountain slopes. It felt very much like her cancer journey and her reemergence to life thanks to Triumph Fitness. This hike was going to be her way to celebrate her newfound strength while paying it forward so other cancer survivors might benefit from Triumph like she did. She roped in a few friends, and even our Board Member Paula Plesha, to join her on the inaugural Triumph to the Summit hiking season.
What began as one incredible summer of hiking, rippled into a hiking program with Triumph Cancer Foundation that will celebrate its fifth season this summer. And thanks to Crystal’s dream, Triumph to the Summit has now raised more than $50,000!
Watch the video that Crystal created of 2015’s inspiring day.
Participants need to meet our minimum level of Physical Fitness and/or have permission from their doctor to participate. Our two-tiered summit goal schedule, addresses the fact that people hike at different paces and come into our program with varying hiking skills. We train as a group for 8 weeks to summit Thunder Mountain. Our team at Triumph then selects the group that will continue on to the more challenging hikes to prepare for Mt. Tallac. Participants must complete the minimum number of training hikes to selected to participate in the final Triumph to the Summit Mt. Tallac hike.
Hiking enthusiasts are encouraged to begin their training in the Spring in the Sacramento and Foothills area. Our team at Triumph is happy to share suggestions on hiking equipment needs.
The first training hike will occur in late June. Throughout the summer, conditioning hikes are offered every Saturday. Each hike will get progressively longer, and higher in elevation to prepare team members for hiking at elevation. Most of our training will occur in the Carson Pass area with a few hikes further up on Highway 50. All hikes are day trips with early morning start times. For our final hike to Mt. Tallac, most team members make a weekend out of the event, arriving the night before to adjust to the altitude, and staying the night after to recover. We communicate with the team throughout the season on upcoming hikes and coordinate details for each hike.
We offer several ways for companies to support our team’s efforts. Each week from July through September, we track our progress on social media with photos, videos, and individual fundraising asks. Opportunities exist to brand photos, video, T-shirts, and gear. Provide the necessary equipment to hikers and survivors. Provide an opportunity for cancer survivors to do something extraordinary.