My interest in climbing Mount Rainier took strong hold after the hike to the Camp Muir with Ali in 2010 and I had been looking into the schedule of the Rainier climbing companies but couldn't make a decision. While I put the idea of climbing in the back burner and concentrated on other outdoor activities, I got the email from the Asha bicycle email group in January 2012 about a meeting to discuss about the Rainier climb. I wanted to checkout the opportunity to climb Rainier with the Asha group and decided to go for the meeting in Sandeep's home. I was the only guy who was 40+ in the group (I didn't tell them my age at that time ;-) )
and most of them were below 30. The meeting at Sandeep's home was informative and he clearly set the expectations for the training as well as what to expect from the coaches. The importance of the weekly hikes and training was emphasized a lot, and at the end of the meeting I was very much psyched about climbing Rainier.
I was not able to go for the very first Asha hike at the Tiger mountain but I was there for the second hike of the season at the same mountain but a tougher cable line route. There were more than 15 people joined the hike and even though I had been running/biking, it was a killer hike. It was steep from the start, a lot of snow at the last quarter of the mile and took me more than 90 minutes to reach the top after a lot of huffing and huffing. I was talking a number of guys during the climb and most of them never done any hikes before but wanted to try this year. We had a nice lunch, photo sessions at the top and discussing everyone's reason for attempting the Rainier climb. It was fun and everyone was getting along well.