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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Women’a Annual Tetas de Cabra Climb

Women’s Annual Tetas de Cabra Climb
by Linda Shiflett

[photo of local San Carlos realtor Karen Stuart after a 4 hour hike up Tetakawai]

Pat Sheya will lead the 14th Annual Women’s Tetas de Cabra Climb on Thursday, February 19, 2009. I had heard about this climb for some time now, but I am always out of town the day of the climb or otherwise I would have considered it. Well, maybe. When telling me about the climb, organizer Pat Sheya said that it is good to start training ahead of time and prepare for a long walk up the mountain. This I have long considered. Pat’s story of the first climb sounds fascinating.

In February 1996, Pat and three friends were discussing a climb up the mountain. They had hiked around the deserts of San Carlos, but none had attempted Tetakawai or “Tetas de Cabra.” Four women and one man made the first climb. Up the mountain they went, the women prepared with cameras, hats, water, snacks, etc. The man, a friend of Sheila’s, came with nothing, in fact years later no one even remembers his name. Sheila, who cannot weigh 98 pounds soaking wet, was loaded down with a video camera, battery pack, water and more. Cindy brought lengths of red embroidery floss to use as markers on bushes to guide them all down. Billie reminded all to have gloves, good hiking boots or good shoes for hiking. Sheila’s friend, well he headed off up the trail ahead of the women, leaving them in his dust. The rain from the summer before caused the trail to be overgrown and poorly marked. There were false trails where others had made mistakes and backtracked marking the false trail even further. After some backtracking and a few mistakes the four women stayed together and reached the tunnel at the top. There, awaiting them was the man. He had the gall to ask Sheila for some of her water. He was thirsty! After helping himself to Sheila’s water, he took off down the mountain, not waiting for the women, just as he had done going up the mountain.

Pat, Sheila, Cindy and Billie realized what a wonderful experience they all shared together and decided that they would make the climb an annual event, of course, without men. Their views of San Carlos, the surrounding mountains and the sea were breathtaking and well worth the journey up. Pat relates to me, “The event is a happening, not a race or a contest of endurance or strength. It is a shared experience to rejoice in the breathtaking scenery, the grandeur that can only be seen from the top and the personal joy of being able to get there.”

In 2009, the climb will be the 14th for the second year in a row, because there was no 13th, just to be on the safe side. All ages are welcome; the youngest climber with the group was 16 years old, and the oldest 78 years young. It is a truly special event for all of the women that participate.

Would you like to know more about the climb? Please contact Pat Sheya at 226-1117 or patle_onsheya@yahoo.com. At the 2007 climb there were 33 ladies that started and 31 that made it up and back. Two of the ladies did not realize how long it would take and had appointments that they did not want to miss so they left before completing the climb. I belong to several clubs with Pat Sheya and I am intrigued by this lady. She has more energy than most women half her age. If you are lucky enough to make the climb and make the acquaintance of Pat, one of San Carlos’ most interesting people, you will be well rewarded.

Linda Shiflett, San Carlos, 622-226-2017, email: LSHIFL1776@aol.com