Goodell reaches summit of Mt. Rainier

Updated: July 9, 2009, 12:27 AM ET
Associated Press

MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash. -- A group including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Seahawks coach Jim Mora reached the summit of Mount Rainier Wednesday morning.

The team made it to the summit of the 14,411-foot volcano at 9:15 a.m. and was back at Camp Muir by about 2:30 p.m., said Jered Erlandson, a spokesman for United Way of King County. The climb is a fundraiser for the Seattle charity.

Erlandson said a guide called base camp to report that nearly everyone made it to the summit of Washington's highest peak. One person in the group sustained a minor injury Monday and didn't attempt the summit.

Erlandson confirmed that Goodell and Mora were among the team that made it to the summit.

The 50-year-old Goodell and 47-year-old Mora left Camp Muir after midnight Wednesday morning in their summit attempt.

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

"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."

Goodell, an avid skier, trained for months with a weighted pack up hills and 50 flights of stairs in and around New York.

With Goodell and Mora were three guides, the CEO and the chair of United Way of King County, Seahawks chief executive Tod Leiweke, plus a camera man from NFL Films and three others who earned their place on the team as major sponsors of the fundraiser.

The person injured was one of the sponsorship members.

The climb has raised about $380,000 for a special United Way campaign to provide food and housing and help getting government services, Erlandson said.

The Seahawks planned a celebration at the base of the mountain for later on Wednesday.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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