Goodell, Mora to climb Mount Rainier

Updated: June 9, 2009, 7:55 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Seahawks coach Jim Mora are ready for a big trek -- up Mount Rainier.

Mountaineering great Ed Viesturs will lead the climb up the more than 14,000-foot peak July 5. The group hopes to plant a flag at the summit three days later. The climb is to benefit the United Way of King County, Washington.

Also to make the climb behind Viesturs -- the only American to summit all 14 of the world's 26,000-plus-foot peaks without supplemental oxygen -- are Seahawks chief executive officer Tod Leiweke, United Way CEO Jon Fine and climbing guide Peter Whittaker, among others.

The National Park Service says Mount Rainier is the most heavily glaciered peak in the contiguous United States. Reaching the 14,411-foot summit requires a vertical elevation gain of more than 9,000 feet over a distance of eight or more miles. Thousands of climbers reach the summit each year. Some have perished in accidents such as falling into crevasses of ice.

Mora grew up in the Seattle area and is in his first season replacing Mike Holmgren as Seahawks coach.

The 47-year-old Mora is an avid runner who tromps up a rugged mountain trail near his suburban in predawn hours multiple times each week. Seahawks players have run up the mountain with Mora with varying degrees of success -- and pain.

Goodell, who turned 50 in February, is also known to be in great shape from working out daily.

The United Way says it has already received enough pledges for the "Climb for the Community" from Seattle-area corporations and foundations to provide 1.5 million pounds of additional food for the agency's emergency food system in King County.

"The entire nation is feeling the weight of the economy," Leiweke said. "Here in the Northwest, when people are hurting we rally together and do something about it. It is our hope that the whole community will join us by making a donation to our basic needs effort upon which so many of our neighbors rely."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press