Climb for Himalaya Children
Article and photos by published | june ‘09

Mitrata GirlsThough the Mitrata Orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal, may be a half world away, that doesn’t stop a group of Seattle climbers from scaling Mt. Rainier to raise funds for their benefit. The founder and owner of Red Lantern Journeys, Ambrose Bittner, has been raising money for the Mitrata Orphanage via his benefit climbs of mountains in Washington State for the past 4 years.

This year’s climb is the weekend of July 17th-19th and will feature two different teams attempting to reach the summit of Mt. Rainier by two different routes, the Camp Muir/Disappointment Cleaver route on the southeast side of the mountain and the Emmons Glacier route on the east side of the mountain. In an unusual twist, the teams plan to meet on the summit and set Buddhist prayer flags in honor of the children of Nepal.

Boy's schoolwork"Each of the climbers will be responsible for raising a minimum of $1000, with 100% of the funds going to the orphanage to help ensure that the children have access to food, shelter, clothing and education", says Bittner. The climber who raises the most money will be awarded a free trekking trip to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal, courtesy of Red Lantern Journeys.

Joining Bittner as team leaders will be Bill Harrison, Len Kannapell, and Michael Frank. All four have international mountaineering experience including in the Himalaya, which is why they feel a connection to helping the children from that region. Bittner has summited Mt. Rainier ten times by seven different routes and has a first ascent in Patagonia and an attempt of Mt. Everest in 2005. Harrison has led 3 climbing expeditions to the Himalaya including the 2008 Mitrata Orphanage fundraiser of Chula West in Nepal. Kannapell has summited Mt. Rainier by ten different routes and Mt. McKinley in Alaska by two different routes. Frank completed an impressive climb of the North side of Mt. Everest in 2005.

In addition to the sponsorship from Red Lantern Journeys, CHC has received sponsorship from REI (rental gear) and Alpine Aire Foods. If you are interested in being a sponsor for this year’s event or would like to make a donation to the Mitrata Orphanage, please contact Red Lantern Journeys.

Red Lantern Journeys is a leading operator of independent tours and treks in Asia, based in Seattle. For more information about us and the Climb for Himalaya Children, please visit

For more information about the Mitrata Orphanage, a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization, please visit

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