Did You Know? A Mysterious Package in the Night

In this piece from Mountaineer magazine, we hear about a mysterious package from a longtime reader.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
July 09, 2019

This story came to our attention after one of our longtime members saw the feature by Bam Mendiola in the spring 2018 issue. Bam’s piece discussed the unique challenges of climbing Tahoma (Mt. Rainier) as a queer, non-binary person of color. After reading Bam’s work, this member (who shall remain nameless for reasons which will soon become obvious) felt compelled to share his own Mt. Rainier anecdote. Without further ado, here’s the story of Mt. Rainier, Spire Rock, and a mysterious package in the night.

-Editorial Team


To the Editor of Mountaineer magazine,

The beautiful photo of Bam Mendiola on top of Mt. Rainier brought back memories of my younger years when I summited Rainier a few times.

Later, I was helping build Spire Rock, the training rock in Spanaway. One evening an unexpected stranger came to my door. He gave me a secret and handed me a heavy igneous rock. Now, a half-century later, I feel it is time to spill the beans to you and your readers. It involves a federal crime! And now, the rest of the story...

My visitor explained that he had been tasked with delivering it to me for installation on the top of Spire Rock. He said that a friend of his removed the heavy rock from the summit of Mt. Rainier, and carried it in his backpack all the way down the mountain. Of course, removing it from the National Park was, and still is, quite against the rules, so he chose to remain anonymous by having his friend deliver it. And now you know "the rest of the story" about that dark rock you see embedded at the top of Spire Rock.

Oh, and that means the sign Bam is holding is not quite correct. Having lost a foot of its height to thievery, the correct height of Mt. Rainier is now 14,410 ft. It will never get it back, and only a very few knew the story until now... but, being climbers, they might read Mountaineer magazine and perhaps see this note and know I spilled the beans.

-Graham, WA


This article originally appeared in our Winter 2018 issue of Mountaineer Magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, click here.


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Karen Wallace
Karen Wallace says:
Fri, Jul 12, 2019 9:49 AM

I would like to know more. Let's play 20 questions about this mystery contributor. Is the first initial of the first name "W"?

The Mountaineers
The Mountaineers says:
Fri, Jul 12, 2019 6:07 PM

We were sworn to secrecy,and can never reveal our sources!