Mauli Desai of Sammamish was afraid of being a working mom and housewife who never gets the opportunity to fulfill the dreams or her youth.
“She also wanted to challenge herself and set an example for the kids by doing something extraordinary,” said her husband Parthiv.
So Mauli aimed high in search of her challenge — 14,410 feet to be precise — and focused on the summit of Mount Rainier.
Earlier this month, Mauli, 39, made her first-ever ascent of a glaciated peak despite having limited prior hiking experience. To add to the challenge, she hoped to raise $1,500 for the charity ASHA for Education, which provides health and basic education to underprivileged children in India.
“When I signed up for this climb back in February, I didn’t have extensive hiking/outdoor experience,” Mauli said by email. “However, I had set the goal and was ready to work on whatever it takes to make it happen.”
Mauli trained by taking hikes to nearby mountains, including Mount Si, Tiger Mountain and Red Mountain, every weekend before leading to more strenuous and overnight hikes on Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Baker. Her climb of Mount Rainier was professionally guided by Miyar Adventures, which helped her to learn safety and walking skills on the snow.