Mary Maccleod is preparing for the Freedom Climb that will be held in Fernie in August.

Mary Maccleod is preparing for the Freedom Climb that will be held in Fernie in August.

Castlegar resident Mary Macleod climbing for freedom

Mary Macleod is participating in the Freedom Climb, a fundraising and awareness event supporting anti-slavery and trafficking causes.

Castlegar resident Mary Macleod is preparing to go on a journey that will will traverse 60 km, climb 9000 ft. and take six days. Macleod will be participating in the Freedom Climb, an annual international event being held in Canada for the first time. Previous climbs have taken place at Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Swiss Alps, Colorado and Everest base camp. This year the climbers will gather on August 6-12 in Fernie to climb the Canadian Rockies.

The Freedom Climb is designed to be a way to engage in the global battle against slavery and oppression and to strategically help the women and children it affects. The funds the climb raises go to Operation Mobilization, an international Christian missions organization that has been confronting injustice for over 50 years.

By signing up to be a climber Macleod has committed to raising awareness and funds for Operation Mobilization projects. Each participant needs to raise a minimum of $3000. Macleod is hoping for several people to partner with her in the fundraising side of things. “When you think about what women go through every single day, it is overwhelming. You think, what can I do as an individual? It can be daunting,” she said. “I decided that I wanted to do the Freedom Climb, because I can’t save the world, but with the $3000 I raise … I can help one person get out of that bondage.”

Macleod is also hoping to find some like-minded people that would like to join with her on the hike and form a training group. “Right now in Castlegar, I’m a lone wolf,” she said. “I can do it [alone] but it is just more fun to have the camaraderie of other people joining in.” Participants don’t have to be experienced mountaineers, but should be in good physical condition and have the stamina to climb a peak a day. Macleod herself is a grandma.

The registration deadline for the climb is March 31. Your registration fee includes meals and deluxe accommodations at Lizard Creek Lodge as well as listening to special speakers during the week. “The [entrance fee] may turn people off, but I really wanted to do it,” said Macleod. “I just started looking at all the things I spend money on, for wants, and it really started adding up. So I thought, I’m not going to get that, I am going to put that money towards the entrance fee.”

If you would like to team up with Macleod, learn more about the climb, or donate towards her fundraising commitment she can be reached at 250-687-1441 or by email at marymacleod.56@gmail.com. More information about Operation Mobilization and the Freedom Climb can be found at OM.org.