Man Climbs Mount Rainier, comes down with 50 Pair of Wigwam Socks!

Our new contest with Spot LLC, ‘Checkpoint: SPOT, kicked off earlier this month, and we’ve since awarded a load of prizes to treasure hunters around the country. But today’s winner, Wes Cooper of Auburn, Wash., won a crazy prize package from Wigwam — a year’s supply of socks!

That’s 50 pair of premium Wigwam socks. Cooper had to climb Mount Rainier to claim the prize, where he checked in with his SPOT device before anyone else from the 14,400-foot crater in the Washington sky.


Wes Cooper on the Summit of Mount Rainier, his seventh visit to the top

Here’s Cooper’s story of the ascent and some background on his use of the SPOT device: I’m a climb leader with the Seattle Mountaineers and am leading groups of people on climbs throughout the year. I’m also a member of King County Search and Rescue and know that accidents can happen unexpectedly in the backcountry. I always have my SPOT device with me on all my climbing trips since we are frequently out of cell service, but thankfully have never had to use the 911 feature. I do however always have tracking enabled for my wife and friends to watch our progress.

I had scheduled this climb of Rainier for Saturday (8/20) through Sunday (8/21) back in April. Our plan was to summit via the popular Emmons Glacier route, which I’d been up multiple times before. We had 12 people on the trip, half of whom had never been on Rainier before. This summit would mark my 7th successful summit.

I knew that to get the prize I would need to get to the crater, but there are always factors along the way that can cause us to turnaround, even when only a few hundred feet below the summit. Fortunately, the weather was both crystal clear and calm (very rare on Rainier) and my rope-mates were strong and motivated to summit. We started out at midnight on 8/21 and summited at 6:45am that morning. While taking pictures for about a half-hour on the summit, I made sure to send multiple Check/Ok messages from my SPOT device so that I would have the link to submit for the contest.

Coincidently, there were two other people with SPOT devices on my team that summited with me. However, I “conveniently” failed to mention the contest to them until after I submitted the link on Sunday night.


‘Checkpoint: SPOT’ Treasure Hunt map

Congrats to Cooper! There are still 8 unclaimed ‘Checkpoint: SPOT’ locations on the contest map here. Sign up and register for your chance to win! Promotion runs through October 31, 2011. Good luck!

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Stephen Regenold is Founder of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of five, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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