My birthday tradition is to climb a mountain every year on my birthday, preferably somewhere new. For my 30th birthday last year, I climbed up Gunung Agung in Indonesia, despite an injured ankle and a guide who was so sick that he fell asleep behind a pile of rocks at the summit. This year, I had planned a trip to Nepal with my brother, but because I re-injured my ankle in Bangkok and had bronchitis not too long ago, I took my doctor’s advice and bowed out of Nepal. Instead, I decided to visit the Pacific Northwest for the first time and chose South Sister as my birthday mountain for 2010. Joining me was Peter West Carey, travel and wedding photographer and all around nice guy.
My usual plan is to camp out at the summit, to watch sunrise on my birthday. The camping regulations for South Sister weren’t very cooperative:
However, having camped out (illegally) on the Great Wall of China, I still hoped we would be able to do the same atop South Sister. We decided that we’d explain the birthday mountain to the ranger if we were found out, then explain that I came all the way from Canadia for my birthday mountain in Oregon and plead with him to let us camp. Luckily, none of this was necessary as we were one of several people (and one dog) camping atop the summit.
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