Incline resident prepares for climb up Mount Fuji

Lois Fletcher will scale the dizzy heights of Mount Fuji and the best part will be that her grandchildren will be by her side.

Two years ago Fletcher, 68, moved to Incline so she could be close to three of her children living in the area.

"I wanted to bond with my grandchildren instead of seeing them twice a year back in Michigan," Fletcher said.

Climbing Mount Fuji with her grandchildren might be extreme bonding, but this is a project she holds close to her heart.

Invited by the president of Breast Cancer Fund to be part of the Mount Fuji 2000, Climb Against the Odds Expedition, Fletcher and her daughter, Janet Brady of Truckee, agreed immediately.

The original idea was for the Mount Fuji climbers' supporters to travel to Japan but not do the climb. In a change of heart last Thursday, the organizers said all the supporters could climb as well.

"We're delighted," Brady said.

Breast cancer is a disease she knows all too well.

Fletcher survived a bout with the disease four years ago. Her sister has it and her mother died of breast cancer. The family wants to help the raise money for research.

Fletcher and Brady make up a group of four from the Truckee-Tahoe area. The other two are Lauri Martin and Windy Smith.

They will join a team of approximately 50 other American women in August when they travel to Japan. There they will connect with approximately 150 Japanese women and set out to climb Mount Fuji in a joint fund-raiser.

When Fletcher decided to live in this area to be closer to her family, she was quite clear on a couple of issues.

Her children, Peter, Ricky and Jan, and Janet all live in Truckee. Her other daughter is a reporter in Jersulem, Israel.

Brady had lived in Truckee for 12 years and although Fletcher wanted to be closer to her than Michigan, she didn't want to live on Brady's doorstep. She also knew for sure she wanted to live in Incline.

"I really wanted Incline.," Fletcher said. "I felt it was closer to Tahoe. There are more senior citizens here too."

And her grandchildren, Maclane, 8, and Calvin, 4, just love to visit their grandmother here, she said.

They get to stay over and Fletcher enjoys taking them to the bowling alley in winter and the beaches in summer.

"You're just inspired to go outside to do things," Fletcher said about living at the lake.

Fletcher said climbing Mount Fuji with Brady will be extra special and lots of fun, although she jokes about her ability to make it both ways.

"She (Brady) says there'll have to be a helicopter at the top to take me down," Fletcher said.

Training for the event involves a team effort.

Fletcher said IVGID's recreation center has been very gracious in allowing her to use their trainers and facilities.

Lin VanHeuitt-Robbins, her fitness instructor at the recreation center said, "This is a challenge she is looking forward to. She's excited to be doing something and she has her whole family behind her."

The theme of family unity runs strong with Fletcher and Brady.

They train together whether it's climbing around Squaw, riding bikes or going jogging.

"We run as a family," Brady said. "We take the baby jogger and when Calvin gets tired, he gets in."

The Mount Fuji 2000 Truckee-Tahoe climbing team needs to raise $40,000 to participate in the climb. Half the money raised stays in the Truckee-Tahoe community to support local cancer education, prevention and the remainder supports the Breast Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization based in San Francisco.

The Truckee-Tahoe team has arranged a local fund-raiser, The Best of Tahoe Chef's Dinner, June 25, at Sugar Bowl's Mount Judah Lodge.

The all-star cast of chefs from Earthly Delights, Joe Coffee, Pacific Crest Grill, Pianeta, Panache School of Cooking and Wolfdale's Cuisine Unique will be on show cooking up a creative and delicious dining experience.

There will be a no-host bar from 5 to 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner. Live and silent auctions, live music and dancing will be featured.

Tickets cost $75 per person.

Tickets are available at Incline Village Health Center, Earthly Delights, Fine & Funky, Joe Coffee, Porters or Tahoe Forest Hospital's Community Wellness Resource Center in Truckee.

For information, call (530) 582-3583 or (800) 733-9953 ext. 3583 or e-mail


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment