Moms on the Mountains still rocks 10 years later |

Moms on the Mountains still rocks 10 years later

Ten years ago, Moms on the Mountains was born as little more than a catch phrase.

Wendy Riley coined the term as the name of her project in a leadership class, where she was charged with creating an event for as many as 200 people. The goal was to create a fund-raiser that would be successful, even if she walked away.

A decade later, Wendy Riley is still very much involved in the annual women-only hike that serves as the largest fund-raiser for the Nevada City Schools Foundation.

She was there when the annual trek up Castle Peak drew 130 hikers, and she’ll have her hiking boots on Saturday when nearly 300 are expected to scale the mountain once again to raise more than $30,000 for the district’s arts, science and general education programs.

Riley, whose two children grew up attending Nevada City schools, said she never expected the initial hike to spawn the following it has now.

“It just seemed (back then) that these women wanted to hike, and they all wanted a day off,” Riley said. The initial hike netted $6,000 its first year. This year, organizers are hoping to secure more than $35,000 in pledges from the women taking the hike near Donner Summit.

A similar men’s-only event, Dads at the Diggins, takes place in the spring.

The money is important, said Trish Gerving, who chairs the nonprofit Nevada City Schools Foundation. Over the years, the hike has paid for computers, playground equipment, even pottery kilns in some classrooms.

It’s also important for the women to realize they can have fun while supporting a good cause. While the hike is rugged, novices can still take a three-mile loop around the mountain without worrying if they’ve done their part, Gerving said.

While they won’t be hiking up Castle Peak this year, the students at Deer Creek Elementary are taking an active role in crafting a prize for each of the women who do.

The nature of the prizes is a secret until Saturday. Art teacher and Moms on the Mountains participant Vicki Parker said it’s a chance for students to realize the importance of the money being raised.

“I just felt it was time for the kids to say thank you,” said Parker, whose two children also grew up attending Nevada City schools. Both are in college, which raises an important question.

In the future, who’s going to fill Mom’s hiking boots?

It might be a few years off, but Parker insists the program will thrive in the next decade.

“This raises too much money for our school district not to do it.”



What: Moms on the Mountains benefit hike for the Nevada City Schools Foundation

When: Saturday

Where: Pacific Crest Trail, Boreal to Anderson Peak

Who: Open to all women over age 18, all abilities encouraged. Trail not wheelchair accessible.

Registration: Minimum $50 sponsorship donation required.

Information: Kim Carnahan, 477-5154 or Teresa Mann, 274-1224.

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