Maria in the News
Follow Me, Boys, By Natalie Soldano
Published in The Seattle Boy Scouts of America Newsletter, February, 2012.
What could be better than breathing in crisp air, snapping pictures of beautiful glaciers and waterfalls, and taking in the view from the second highest peak in Washington? Well, sliding down the side of the second highest peak in Washington, of course. That is, when you are climbing Mt. Adams with Maria Faires leading the way. "Glissading is always the most favorite thing," she said of the popular waterslide-style technique that involves descending the mountain on your backside. "It’s so much fun." That was only one of many fond memories Faires shared with the group of 19 from Boy Scout Troop 636 of Issaquah last August. Many Scout troops feel fortunate to have a group of adults who are not just willing, but able to hike up mountains and take boys on outings. Troop 636’s cup overflows with a female leader, who is a trained fitness specialist, serving as Assistant Scoutmaster. Her professional background coupled with months of preparation, it is no wonder the trip went off without a hitch. "The trip was perfect, ideal," said Faires.
As a registered dietician and certified trainer, Faires is no stranger to an active lifestyle or climbing mountains. She incorporates the outdoors into the training of her clients by leading them on fitness hikes and overnight climbs as part of their path to a healthy way of life. A certain fitness level was also expected of those interested in climbing Mt. Adams, according to Faires. The Scouts had to meet several qualifications, which included showing they could climb Mt. Si in two hours with a 25% body weight load, pass a jog test, participate in other scheduled hikes, perform cardio exercises regularly, and participate in equipment checks.
"This is not your typical hike," Faires states. "We wanted to make sure that the boys were really fit and that they were mature enough to follow instruction." That meant high expectations during training when it came to listening and obeying safety precautions. Eight months of planning, extra hikes, and many meetings was a commitment for both Scouts and parents alike. The boys grew in leadership within their group and Faires admits that "it's a big project to undertake, but it’s worth it at the end of the day to see everybody happy."
And happy, they were. "They had a great time," said Faires, and lived out the Scout motto by being very well prepared. There were no incidents, only excitement and a great sense of accomplishment at having completed such a feat. She hopes to encourage other groups to face the challenge. As for Faires, who knows what the future holds for her and the familiar summit. With two trips up to Mt. Adams and one to Mt. Rainier under her belt with Troop 636, Faires is open to more. At the very least, she would enjoy assisting others in planning the venture and certainly plans on maintaining an advisory role within the troop.
For now, she is still enjoying the positive impact the last journey made on the boys, hearing at a recent Court of Honor that the climb has been a highlight of several Scouting careers. "They’ll remember this forever," she said. "Little mountains will lead to bigger mountains for them."
Issaquah Personal Trainer Maria Faires Plans to Hike Mount Rainier for Clean Air Fundraiser
By Elisha Grang, Issaquah Press 5/24/2005
A local Issaquah woman who has summited most of the Northwest’s mountain peaks is planning to climb to the top of Mt. Rainier for the second time this summer.
Maria Faires, a dietitian and personal trainer is raising money to fund her participation in the American Lung Association’s Climb for Clean Air.
"My grandfather died of lung cancer," she said. "I’m an advocate of clean air, I love to climb, so it was the perfect fit. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever done."
Faires has been training hard for what is described by hikers as the longest endurance climb in the lower 48 states. She demonstrated some of the exercises she does hundreds of times a week to strengthen her legs and back: step-ups, horizontal pull-ups and abdominal routines. She must have the muscle and cardiovascular strength to carry a pack up to the summit, an elevation gain of 9,000 to 10,000 feet.
"You can't just buy a ticket for this," she said. "You have to earn it."
Faires described the final push last year when she summited Mt. Rainier for the first time.
"We get up at midnight and put all the stuff on — crampons, ropes and harnesses, helmets," she said. "We start out at 1 a.m. because we want everything to be nice and frozen. We hike in teams of four, all roped together, with one guide each. It's cold but we have down gear. It's quiet as the only sounds are the metal harnesses clinking and snow crunching. We can see the light from everyone’s head lamps."
The teams watched the sun rise as they continued hiking.
"It’s steep and gets more difficult to breathe, but climb school prepares you for it", Faires said. "The sunrise is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Everything is frozen."
Once at the top, the teams rested and took celebratory team photos. However, while the teams were stopped, Faires got cold and tried to put on an extra pair of pants. "It took 20 minutes to put the pants on," she said, smiling. "Everything is harder at the summit."
She missed being in the summit photo, but she’s going to try for it again this year. She will be climbing with mountain climber Lou Whittaker and guides from Rainier Mountaineering, Inc.
Every year, the Climb for Clean Air raises almost $500,000 to support the American Lung Association’s efforts to clean the air, prevent children from starting to smoke and help people with asthma and other lung diseases lead more comfortable lives.
Gigi and Tracy Predmore complete the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego Romantic getaway?
San Diego Union Tribune June 5, 2006
One of the first times away from their young children was not easy emotionally for Gigi Predmore and her husband, Tracy, both 35, of Sammamish, Washington.
"This is our first weekend away without the kids," said Tracy, who said that Gigi's personal trainer Maria was the one who pushed the Predmores to run a marathon.
But the little ones can be proud – Mom and Dad finished their first marathon together in 4:36.28, taking a moment at Mile 18 to stop for a kiss.
"We would have loved a faster pace, but this was a fun thing for us, not for time," Gigi said. "This race kicked my butt, but it was fun."
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