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Climbing Tiger Mountain

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Climbing Tiger Mountain

Postby SeaWolf » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:16 am

I like this; even tough Tiger Mountain is not really a mountain but a big hill. ;-)

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Patrick Kerney lost his lunch. Darryl Tapp almost threw in the towel. And Jordan Babineaux couldn't get the 45-year-old man off his back.

This wasn't a grueling practice at Seattle Seahawks training camp, but something much more daunting.

Several times over the offseason, new defensive backs coach Jim Mora took different Seahawks players up the 21/2-mile trek of Tiger Mountain, an Issaquah landmark that has an elevation of about 2,500 feet.

"It's a difficult climb," said Mora, who started making the uphill hike with former University of Washington teammate Mark Pattison. "We try to do it in under 38 minutes, right in there.

"... Not to name names, but there are a few (players) that have taken an hour. But they all kind of like it. More and more guys have wanted to do it."

While Kerney got off to one of the most forgettable starts - he vomited 10 minutes into the hike but eventually made it to the end - Tapp had a memorable finish.

Mora, Pattison and Kerney had already completed the climb and were waiting for Tapp for more than an hour before deciding to start the run back down. About 400 yards from the top, they ran into Tapp, who was still plugging away. Mora suggested that Tapp turn around, but when the player heard that he was only 400 yards from the summit, he took off in a sprint and reached his goal.

Then there was Babineaux, who took hold of the challenge and shaved four minutes off his first hike, from 42 minutes to 38.

"You saw the competitiveness in Babineaux," the 45-year-old Mora said. "The first time he did it, he followed me up. The second time, I followed him. And every time I got close to him, I'd give him a little poke and say, 'Don't let a 45-year-old man beat you.'"

Despite the grueling process, most of the players enjoyed the experience.

"A big part of bonding is getting comfortable enough with guys that you're making fun of each other all the time," Kerney said. " (On Tiger Mountain), everyone's on the same level."
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