Story by Emily Stifler | Photo by Joe Josephson

photo: The Hummingbird Ridge is on the skyline. The Warbler Ridge is the big sub-peak and ridge on the right side of the pic. This was taken from the Seward Glacier at about 6,000 feet. The summit is 19,540.’

Peter Ramos, a Bozeman-based nurse, climber and
skier, believes in mountain karma. He believes in educating
Montana teens about their health. And he loves
big adventures.
In late June, Ramos, 28, will join three Billings climbers
in a bid at 19,551-foot Mount Logan, the highest
peak in Canada. And they’re doing it to raise awareness
and money for Planned Parenthood of Montana.
As a nurse at Community Health Partners and an
advanced wilderness life support certified Wildernes
EMT, this mission fits Ramos perfectly.
Recent legislation eliminated funding for family
planning from the state budget and cut federal Title X
dollars by 5.6 percent, severely affecting income for
PPMT and other Montana family planning clinics (like
Bozeman’s BridgerCare). According
to Ann Vinciguerra,
Planned Parenthood’s
Bozeman Development
Associate, “This amounts to
a $300,000 shortfall” in the
coming year. Because of this,
PPMT says patient services
and contraceptive options
will decrease while patient fees will increase, and some
rural clinics are likely to close.
With five clinics and five rural outreach sites, PPMT is
Montana’s largest provider of family planning services.
The organization provides general health care services
(cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes screening,
flu vaccinations, mild depression/anxiety treatment,
and so forth) and reproductive health services
(Such as STI testing, breast and annual exams, and
Ramos likes the idea of climbing for a cause, and said,
“We want to help support our local communities
and our state.” PPMT’s work affects all taxpayers, he
added: “If you prevent unwanted teen pregnancies,
there would be fewer people on welfare.”
Ramos and his partners—Stan Price, Rusty Willis and
Daniel Burson—will drive north from Montana 36
hours. Just north of Haines Junction, at mile 1054 on
the Alaska Highway, they’ll meet their pilot and fly
an hour into their remote camp at the base of Mount
Logan. There, they’ll spend two weeks climbing, conditions
With 12 sub-summits, Logan is one the largest massifs
in North America. Livingston resident Joe Josephson,
who’s climbed it twice, said Logan is unlike any mountain
in the world in terms of sheer mass:
“It’s big even compared to the Himalaya. The massif
rises over 14,000 feet from the glacier, and has a
plateau at 16,000 feet that is 15 miles long and two
miles wide.” The scale, he said, is hard to describe or
understand—until you’re there. Part of the Saint Elias
Mountain Range, the peak is
adjacent to the third largest
ice cap in the world, after
Antarctica and Greenland.
The team has an eye on several
possible ascent routes.
“Depending on conditions,
we’d like to acclimatize on the standard East Ridge, a
snow slog that goes to the east summit,” Ramos said.
Another possibility is a new route up a technical-looking
ridge that faces southeast and connects to the East
part-way up.
After that, they’d like to attempt a route called the
Warbler or the Hummingbird, neither of which have
seen a second ascent. The Hummingbird has been
named one of the “50 classic climbs of North America”
in the standard-setting 1979 book by Allen Steck and
Steve Roper. Ramos said the 13,800-foot knife-edge
has dual cornices and massive exposure.
To train as a group, Ramos, Willis and Price had a
huge day out in the Beartooths: They climbed the
4000’ ice flow California Ice, carrying skis, then
skied the Cham Couloir.
“The dynamic was awesome,” Ramos said. “I feel
ready to go. I’m chompin’ at the bit.”
Upon the climbing team’s return, Planned Parenthood
of Montana plans to host an event in Bozeman.