Climbing for change

Landon Faulkner

photo courtesy of landon faulkner

Landon Faulkner has always loved hiking hills. The Yuba City resident and foster family worker also enjoys helping others. A few months ago he hooked up with the organization Peak 7 Adventures. The Oregon/Washington-based nonprofit helps disadvantaged, at-risk youth by facilitating outdoor adventures such as whitewater rafting, backpacking and kayaking. For their part, Landon and his cousin Andrew are planning a fundraising mountain hike called Climb for Change as a benefit for Peak 7. Their ambitious plan is to climb both Lassen Peak and neighboring Brokeoff Mountain within the span of 30 hours (Feb. 21-22). Visit to make a donation.

What’s the inspiration for the hike?

Well, I really like helping disadvantaged people, especially those in their teens, which is a time when life can really suck. My motto has always been, “Make adventures.” I enjoy the outdoors so I had the idea of hiking to help them.

How is the fundraising going so far?

We’re taking donations of any amount. The biggest have been $250 to $300, but some are just $10. Right now we have 42 percent of our goal—$3,250—and we launched only five days ago. [By press time the donations had exceeded 70 percent of the goal.] So we’re doing exceptionally well.

How harsh are the conditions this time of year?

Well, in February the average day temperature is 28 degrees, and at night it’s in the single digits. The elevation will be around 10,000 feet with a 45-degree grade in 20 to 40 feet of snow, so we have to move quickly.

How have you been preparing?

I’ll have a goose-down sleeping bag with a pad, plus a down jacket, snow shoes and an ice ax. I’ve also been running 25 to 30 miles a week and hiking with a 30- to 40-pound pack in similar conditions.

What will you eat?

We’ll eat high-calorie, high-fat foods like Snickers bars and other snacks. At night we’ll eat a hot meal using a little stove to heat things like dehydrated spaghetti and meatballs.

How much do the Peak 7 Adventures outings cost?

If the kid or their parents don’t have much money, they can pay as little as $5. If they absolutely don’t have any money, they can go for free and do community service. But they are provided with the essentials such as food, backpacks and sunscreen.

What are your future plans?

Nothing concrete, but I’d like to do a rim-to-rim run of the Grand Canyon, maybe as another fundraiser for Peak 7. I’d run from one side of the canyon, down to the basin and back up the other side.