Disabled climbers break ground on Mount Shasta

The Associated Press
Tuesday May 28, 2002

REDDING — After five hours traveling at night, four paraplegic climbers have gained 1,200 feet on Mount Shasta by using special handcranked machines. 

The machine, called a “Snowpod,” as well as a support team of more than a dozen people, should help the four reach the summit of the 14,162-foot mountain in four to five days. 

The climbers were at 8,100 feet Monday afternoon and hoped to reach 10,400 feet Tuesday. The team traveled at night so the snow would be firm enough for the Snowpods to carry the climbers. Snowpods climb about 200 feet every hour. 

The climbers include Pete Rieke, who invented the Snowpod; Salt Lake Paralympics silver medalist Muffy Davis; Mark Wellman, who in 1999 became the first paraplegic to scale El Capitan and Half Dome at Yosemite National Park using only his arms; and Keegan Reilly, who last year used a custom-built four-wheeled bicycle to summit Mount Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado.