Masek crossing a crevasse on the way back down to Paradise. Photo courtesy Steve Bratz.

Masek crossing a crevasse on the way back down to Paradise. Photo courtesy Steve Bratz.

Bellevue transportation engineer Chris Masek and Steve Bratz, a land surveyor with the city, summited Mount Rainier on July 22. Upon reaching the top, Masek and Bratz gave a nod to their favorite city and employer, Bellevue.

The goal to reach the top of Rainier for the co-workers-turned-climbing buddies had been in the works since August 2014 and marked Masek’s first successful trip up Rainier.

“For me, this is a new hobby.  I unsuccessfully attempted to climb Mount Rainier last year,” Masek said. For Bratz, the trip was a check off his bucket list. “I have done all the other volcanic peaks in Washington state but needed Rainier to finish the list.” Bratz said.

Masek and Bratz used guide service, Alpine Ascents International, to make the three-day climb, starting the first day at Paradise and climbing 10,080 feet to Camp Muir. Day two consisted of 11,300 feet to High Camp on the Ingram Glacier with a 10:45 p.m. pack up and start time to reach the summit around 6 a.m. on the third day, before making the descent back to Paradise.


Bratz on the way up between Camp Muir and Ingraham Flats. Photo courtesy Steve Bratz.

The decision to bring the city of Bellevue flag to the summit was Bratz’s. “I felt we needed something to show our co-workers what we had been training for over the past six-plus months,” Bratz said. Both thought climbing Mount Rainier is definitely one way to connect with your co-workers. “I think its’s a great idea if you like mountain climbing,” Masek said. Brantz agreed that climbing Mount Rainier was a good bonding experience, but probably shouldn’t be a requirement.

Masek’s next adventure includes reaching the summit of Mount Adams in the summer of 2016 and Bratz says, if it’s outdoors, he’ll be there. Don’t forget to bring your City of Bellevue flag wherever ever you go next, guys!