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La Grande Observer Daily paper 10/24/14

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EIGHT LA GRANDE YOUTHS REACH SUMMIT OF MT. HOOD

Alexis Baum was among the climbers. ().
Alexis Baum was among the climbers. ().

La Grande Venture Crew 514 members stood atop Oregon's tallest peak last month.

On May 11, following the south side climbing route, Venture Crew members Grace Bond, Nicole Lewis, Alexis Baum, Travis Dixon, Dane Johnson, Leif Bullock and Reed and Drew Kelly, and several experienced adult climbers, departed the parking lot at Timberline Lodge at 2:15 a.m. and reached the summit at 11:15 a.m.

Near the top, the Venture Crew skirted the mountain's bergschrund without incident. The bergschrund, a crevasse formed where a glacier pulls away from the mountain, is where three climbers perished in a climbing accident on May 30, 2002.

The weather was clear for most of the climb, but near-summit clouds cut visibility to a few hundred feet.

The crew planned to climb the mountain last spring but was forced to postpone its climb after last year's fatal climbing accident closed the mountain to climbers.

Venturing, a program that emphasizes high adventure, is affiliated with the Boy Scouts of America. It is open to young women and men ages 14 to 20.

Venture Crew 514 is looking for new members. The crew meets the first and third Monday of each month, 7 p.m., in the basement of the First Presbyterian Church in

La Grande.

The crew is aiming to climb another mountain – Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada mountain range. At 14,491 feet, Mount Whitney is the highest mountain in the continental U.S. The crew plans to reach the summit on July 4.

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