Mount Shasta native reaches summit of Mt. Rainier

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald
Linda Mattos on top of Mt. Rainier June 1, 2014. Mattos, who was born and raised in Mount Shasta, is a 13-year veteran of the Seattle Opera Chorus who trained for the climb by skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, running and playing tennis. She said, “I grew up at the foot of a 14,000 foot mountain. The desire to spend time at altitude is in my blood.”

Mount Shasta native Linda Mattos was successful on her first summit attempt up Mt. Rainier June 1.

“The plan was to hike to Camp Muir for training but the weather was so perfect we were asked who wanted to summit,” said Mattos. “Out of 30 climbers, only four raised their hands including myself. So I found myself on a rope with a total of five, including the rope leader Mark Fisher, and off we went.

“It has always been a dream of mine to summit the great peaks of the world,” said Mattos, a 13-year veteran of the Seattle Opera Chorus. “The problem was my schedule. Training to summit a mountain takes time and money – two things in short supply, but I made it a priority in order to climb that mountain.”

In information submitted to the newspaper, Mattos said she began intently training last February when an opportunity arose to go with a group on June 25.

The initial training was indoors on ropes and harnesses. It was an informational meeting on gear and expectations on conditioning leading up to the summit date.

The conditioning regimen was to essentially be climbing Mt. Si in the rain, in the middle of the night, with a 40 pound pack. After summiting and returning to the parking lot, go back up, and do it again.

Mattos said she was unable to complete that exact training exercise but spent time on the ski slope in order to train – 38 days this season, which included some alpine touring, as well as downhill skiing.

“The women’s opera chorus had a bit of a break this winter so it opened up a window for me to spend a significant amount of time in the mountains,” said Mattos.

In addition to skiing, an avid hiker, Mattos trained by continuing to hike, snow shoe, run and play tennis.

“It is never uncommon for me to summit a peak off the I-90 corridor on my way back from skiing all day. I grew up at the foot of a 14,000 foot mountain. The desire to spend time at altitude is in my blood,” said Mattos.

Born and raised in Mount Shasta, her father George, a two-time Olympic pole vaulter, summited Mt. Shasta five times.

“I believe that opera singers are elite athletes,” said Mattos. “As such we need to train and take care of our bodies in the same way as top level, professional athletes. Opera singing is physically demanding and to be in the best shape allows singers to have an edge in every aspect of the art form.

“My plan is to summit Mt. Rainier at the next opportunity. Hopefully a minimum of one time per year with continued aspirations to summit new peaks.

“Also on the to-do list in 2014 is a half-marathon and continued participation in competitive tennis tournaments.

“I know I need to have time to sing and work on my voice so it is a balancing act between my interests. The good news is that because singing is a physical activity I get a lot of joy from it as I would any other kind of athletic pursuit,” said Mattos.