To celebrate his half century on earth, Michael Meinig decided he wanted to do something special.
“I turned 50 back in November, so a lot of friends were asking what was I going to do to celebrate that milestone,” Meinig said. “I thought what’s something that I’ve never done for a long time? Climbing a mountain. I used to do a lot of that before, and then I just thought why not do something else with this special day.”
Meinig decided to climb three mountains in three days for three charities.
“That idea just sort kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger,” he said. “I found the three charities and the three mountains and I thought, ‘hey, that would be a great way of doing something for a special occasion and making a difference.'”
The three charities are the Cranbrook Homeless Shelter, The Good Samaritan and Children’s Wish Foundation.
Meinig chose the three charities based on a number of things.
He chose the Cranbrook Homeless Shelter to help women and the homeless.
He chose the Good Samaritan because he was looking for a Christian organization helping the community.
“Then you know the Good Samaritan, they do a lot of stuff helping seniors and the developmentally disabled,” he said. “They build hospitals and all sorts of general community functions and things like that.”
He also chose the Children’s Wish Foundation as the third charity.
“I had friends whose kids have had leukaemia… and the Children’s Wish Foundation, you know they are amazing what they for kids, and put smiles on their faces.”
Meinig wanted to do something in the winter time, because he enjoys climbing in the snow and snowshoeing.
“I needed a place where I could drive up to it and hike from there,” he said. “I don’t have a 4X4 or anything like that.”
He has a friend in Canmore and so looked around there and found three mountains that met his criteria.
The total elevation for the three days of climbing will be about 3,000 metres.
“Each one is almost 1,000 metres,” he said. “So nothing death defying — I didn’t want to take any risks because I have family and kids. I wanted it fairly safe, but a challenge physical-wise, to climb that much in three days in a row at my age could be tough.”
He will be climbing with his Canmore friend.
“It will just be the two of us,” he said.
The climbs will take place in March.
“Hopefully there will be snow still in the mountains,” he said.
He’s never done three mountains in three days.
Meinig moved to the region in 2001 and hiked Fisher Peak a number of times.
“Usually after doing that the next couple of days you can barely move,” he laughed.
He has a number of sponsors from around town: Northstar Motors, Kootenay Mountain Works, RM Events, Kootenay Granite, Grizzly Mountain Events, Kimberley Alpine Resort and Wolfpack Signs.
Check out Meinig’s website chronicling the days up to the event: www.3for3.net.