Liz Rocks Mt. Baker!

Mt. Baker 2017

Mt. Baker 2017

I never ever thought that I would climb a mountain in my life, especially after my car accident in 2006 where I suffered a nearly debilitating back injury. During the few years after the accident Liz still called me almost every weekend to see if I wanted to go on some other adventure.  It was always difficult to say no because she didn't care if you would be the best or "sickest" most "gnar" person out there, she just wanted to be around people she loved.  

As Liz came into the splitboarding/mountaineering world like a wrecking ball, I saw her less frequently and randomly between guiding trips.  We didn't talk on the phone much so when we saw each other in person our conversations grew to be deeper and more adult like in nature.  

On the right: Liz Daley Photo by Paul Rosser

On the right: Liz Daley

Photo by Paul Rosser

In August of 2014 Liz was in town for a week or so before she left for her next adventure. She came over to my house for dinner. We talked about her sponsorship with Eddie Bauer.  She was so stoked to be able to be working with them and receiving greater benefits.  There was a female guide at Eddie Bauer who had two children which gave her inspiration to pursue her own dreams of having a career in the mountains as well has having a family.  I remember telling her "just because your life does not look like everyone else's, doesn't mean it isn't right".  Hell, I planned on sending my own future children off with her in the mountains to learn things I couldn't teach them. 

Liz had some incredible pictures that inspired a lot of people. I had no desire to climb a mountain until I saw her pictures with that ear to ear smile. I told her that I wanted to climb a mountain and i told her "if I am going to do it, it would be with you!".  Of course she wanted to go climb Mt. Baker the next day. With my injury and other regretful obligations I wanted to wait for next summer so I could strengthen my back. We agreed and I was stoked!

One month later she was gone. The world came crashing down for so many people. I regretted not spending that last weekend with her and at least going out to Mt. Baker to camp and hangout.  This event for me was a catalyst for a lot of other crappy events that took place over the next few years. To be honest, I think working with the Liz Rocks Campaign is what kept my head above water during those times. The support we received was so incredible and inspiring that I think it helped a lot of other people too. Mt. Baker still lingered in the back of my mind.  I still wanted to climb it.  I had no idea how I would do that since Liz was literally the only person I knew that climbed mountains. 

Luckily the American Alpine Institute donated a three day Baker Skills Climb to one of our Liz Rocks auctions. Liz guided with them for a few years and of course developed a deep bond with many people from the AAI.  I bought this climb and convinced my Dad, Erin and Justin to join me. None of us had ever done anything like this before.  

Baker Summit. From the left: Justin Smith (LRC member), Erin Olsen, Krystle Edwards (LRC Director), Pete Edwards, Paul Rosser (AAI guide), and Jeanne Rosser.

Baker Summit. From the left: Justin Smith (LRC member), Erin Olsen, Krystle Edwards (LRC Director), Pete Edwards, Paul Rosser (AAI guide), and Jeanne Rosser.

So on July 28th 2017, we set out for the AAI in Bellingham. We were all nervous and had no idea what to expect. Paul Rosser was our trusted guide. He is a senior guide for AAI and spent many trips with Liz.  He shared stories of her during their trips. It was incredible to hear about her guiding adventures on Mt. Baker. We knew Liz from high school and never had the chance to experience this side of her world. 

Liz Rocks Summit.jpg

On the summit morning, through the darkness we saw a meteor flying through the sky.  I have never seen anything like it. We could see the orange trails around it. It was huge! We watched it break off into two pieces before disappearing behind the mountain. It was incredible. I am pretty sure Lizzy was surfing that meteor and did a little drive by for us.  Eventually we reached the summit.  It was so awesome!  We paid our tribute to our dear friend and headed back down.  The entire experience was incredible and sort of surreal. Our team worked well together and we have created a special bond on this journey.  Since we have come back down I can say that I feel different. I think I am more at peace than I have ever been. I can see why people love the mountains, why she loved the mountains, and those she shared them with. -Krystle Edwards

Check out our video below and stay tuned for the release of the Liz Rocks Foundation!

 

 

 

Liz Rocks Foundation Announces 2017 Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Recipient.

The Liz Rocks Foundation is thrilled to announce its first scholarship recipient! We had many inspiring applications and it was difficult to only pick one winner.  We hope to offer more scholarship opportunities as the Liz Rocks Foundation grows. 

About Maria:

Maria is a 16 year old student at Puget Sound High School. She first fell in love with the outdoors serving as a high school leader for 6th grade students at Waskowitz Outdoor School where she took them on long hikes. After having an opportunity to go on an overnight snowshoeing trip this winter she yearned to get back to the mountains and learn more. A proud Latina and dedicated scholar, she has shown tremendous potential, is outgoing, and exhibits endless stoke. She welcomes challenge and has already overcome many obstacles in life. Maria is the first to admit that she is obsessed with animals and hopes to see some out in the wild.

The Scholarship

Maria will be spending 9 days on Mount Baker with the American Alpine Institute (AAI).  AAI’s youth leadership program focuses on situational judgment and decision-making in a mountain setting while providing a base of general outdoor know-how and mountain sense. Participants learn rock-climbing skills, glacier travel techniques, crevasse rescue, navigation and other skills necessary for an attempt on 10,781-foot Mt. Baker as well as on other peaks.

 

 

Full Circle

The Liz Rocks Campaign has been so blessed with tremendous support from he outdoor community.  Many of our corporate donors had a close relationship with Liz.  At our first Auction event in 2015 the American Alpine Institute donated a few amazing courses for the cause.  We were stoked when our close friend Erin won the Ave 1 course.  We recently followed up with her about her experience!  

Her Story

So I did my Avalanche 1 with American Alpine Institute in Bellingham last February 2016. It was such a great experience! I got more into backcountry skiing and touring in 2011 but didn't know much about avalanche safety, snow science, or group decision making. I always relied on someone else more experienced to lead the way. Liz encouraged me that I should to do my Avy 1 and do it through AAI in Bellingham. A couple seasons went by and I never got around to it. After Liz passed away I, I thought "If I am going to be in the backcountry and taking these risks I definitely need some education.".

When I saw it was an item to bid on at The Liz Rocks Your Socks Off Action I knew there couldn't be a better time or reason to do it.

I did the course with my friend Brie and we had such a blast! The guide who taught the course, Tom Curtis turned out to be a friend of Liz's and had actually certified her as a guide. We shared some memories of her and it just seemed like the whole thing came full circle. I am so happy I did it!! 

- Erin


Erin also won a spot on the private Liz Rocks Baker Skills and Climb donated by AAI to summit Mt. Baker at this years 2016 Liz Rocks Your Socks Off event.  She will be joining two Liz Rocks Committee members along with two others who also won slots. All the slots were filled with first time climbers so this will be an incredible opportunity for them to get exposure to alpine basics.

 We can't thank the AAI enough for their continuous support of Liz Rocks and also for honoring Liz with their Guide Like Liz Scholarship ! They are now accepting applications for 2017.  

Laura Berridge on inpsiration and a love affair with climbing

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I can never compare my friendship with Liz Daley in the way many of you can. I worked with Liz for about three years on and off. We spent most of our time working together giggling, speaking our version of Spanglish, and her telling me about her latest adventures. Liz was the type of person that sparkled, even if you just knew her for a brief period of time. When I got the news of her death on September 29, 2014, I remember feeling gutted. I had recently gone through a break-up, hated my job, and felt alone. It was only a few days prior that I was contemplating reaching out to her and finally taking her up on the offer to go rock climbing. I cannot change things, and never will be able to. I was so lost when Liz died. I hated myself, my life, and that I was a bystander in life.

The outpouring of love and admiration that Liz received even in death was mind blowing. It is amazing how much one person can change a community. Liz’s passing woke me up and made me face reality of my situation. She lived a million lifetimes in her short amount of years on Earth. Experiencing as much as life had to offer her, with her classic smile on her face and her positive attitude. I had been obsessed with mountaineering since I was 16, but my confidence never allowed me to really push myself to do it.

On January 1, 2015, enough was a enough. I started hiking as much as a possibly could, the beauty in the world around me saved me. I built my confidence, I saw the world, my community, and myself differently. About a year ago, I started rock climbing. It is my great love affair. I love everything about it, the places I climb, the amazing people from all different walks of life I meet, and the way it makes me feel. Most of all, I feel like myself. I love who I am, I feel empowered, and I see why Liz loved it so much. Although, I have a degree from the University of Washington, have lived the corporate life, and live just outside the city, I find inspiration from the life Liz Daley lead. I don’t need all of those things to make me happy. It is following my passion and being with my community that makes me complete.

When Liz died, I promised myself that I would “live like Liz,” and do my best to honor the memory of an amazing woman that I had the pleasure of knowing. Even in death, people can inspire us to be better. Liz, you have done this for me. Over the next year, I will be focusing on getting my Single Pitch Instructor for Rock Climbing, Wilderness First Responder, and work towards starting my own non-profit to help others to feel empowered with outdoor activities. Life is so unbelievably short, and I do not want anyone to ever spend a moment not living. Liz will forever hold a special place in all of our hearts. I chose to honor her by smiling and living my adventure.

-Laura Berridge

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