Mountaineers Group Returns From Mt. Adams with Surprise - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Mountaineers Group Returns From Mt. Adams with Surprise

KENNEWICK, Wash.- A group of local business and community leaders, and a special guest, climbed Mount Adams to raise money for the Jubilee Youth Ranch in Dayton.

U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell joined the group at the bottom of Mount Adams Monday, and Tuesday, in the words of those in the climbing party, "reached the top like a champ."

Her climbing partners call her an avid hiker, so when Benton County Prosecutor Andy Miller mentioned their planned climb up Mount Adams a few months ago, Cantwell asked if she could join in.

"We kind of kept it close to our vests a little bit because we didn't want to announce it until we were back and everything was safe and sound before we did it, but she came along and seemed to enjoy herself," said fellow climber Ed Allen.

Their climb raised money for the Jubilee Youth Ranch in Dayton; a ranch for troubled teens.

"Surprised, pleasantly surprised.  They said we're gonna see if we can raise some money for jubilee and for those boys out there that we've gotten to know," said Glenn Robinson with the Ranch.

Senator Cantwell joined five local business leaders on the climb.

She was unavailable for comment Tuesday, so her climbing partners summed up the journey for her.

"We didn't talk politics or anything like that, we just let our hair down and treated her as one of the guys, and she repeated several times how much she enjoyed just being up there and hanging out with the boys," Allen said.

It's unknown how much money the climb raised, but no matter what, the leaders at Jubilee say it's a buoying feeling for the kids to know someone is thinking of them.

"A direct quote from one of the boys after one of these meetings, we walked out and he said, 'Wow, these people really care about us.  Why?'" said Robinson.

Senator Cantwell did run into some trouble on the way down the mountain.

Her climbing partners say it took a while to convince her that she had to cross a glacier to save time.

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