Goodell, Mora reach Camp Muir

Updated: July 8, 2009, 2:39 AM ET
Associated Press

So far, still so good for Roger Goodell and Jim Mora on Mount Rainier.

The 50-year-old NFL commissioner and the 47-year-old Seahawks coach successfully reached Camp Muir on Tuesday, after an all-day climb with nearly 5,000 feet gained in elevation. After a few hours of rest, they were to leave after midnight early Wednesday morning in an attempt to summit the 14,411-foot volcano that is Washington's highest peak.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote in a Twitter posting Tuesday: "Commish just called from base camp -- 10,400 feet up Mt. Rainier. Sounded great. Said it's hard work but unbelievable experience."

Goodell has trained for months with a weighted pack up hills and 50 flights of stairs in and around New York, but he has been fearful of the effects of the elevation above Camp Muir.

He is an avid skier used to elevations of about 11,000 in Aspen, Colorado.

Altitude sickness, along with weather, are the biggest obstacles to completing the climb up the tallest peak in the rugged Cascade range. Only about half the roughly 9,000 climbers who annually attempt to reach Rainier's peak succeed.

"I've never done any mountaineering. I've barely climbed a hill," Goodell told The Associated Press last month, laughing while talking about his attempt. "Well, I always love a good challenge.

"I must say, I'm not exactly sure what I'm in for."

The pre-dawn departure is done to summit soon after sunrise, when winds and snow conditions near the peak are generally more favorable for ascending and descending safely.

Earlier, guide Peter Whittaker said the group spent about five hours Monday training below Camp Muir in wind and fog. He and fellow climbing expert Ed Viesturs are leading the climb for charity that also includes Seahawks chief executive Tod Leiweke.

"Gotta say the commish performed. He is a good listener and grasped mountaineering basics reasonably well," Whittaker told The AP in an e-mail.

"A lot of mountain to go though ... we were at 6,000 feet."


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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