Blog posts in Mountaineering

Elevating through Freedom Fidos

I met Matt Burgess in 2012 as part of a No Barriers Warriors climb up Cotopaxi, a 19,347-foot volcano in Ecuador. During training I learned about Matt’s numerous medical conditions, which happened in his Army deployments: several TBIs, a 50% decrease of his lung capacity due to inhaling exploded depleted uranium, and later an adverse reaction to the anthrax vaccination. Matt was in a bad place, and had a lot of reasons to give up and recoil from life.

Adventure and Tragedy in the Alps

I'm now home safely in Colorado after a big summer climb that turned out to be full of adventure and fun, but also some challenge, uncertainty, and tragedy. Having visited the Italian Dolomites and the Alps several times, I've always been blown away by the pioneers of the 1930's and 40's like Cassin, Comici, and Bonatti, who set these bold and preposterous lines up massive rock and ice faces the size of El Capitan and often bigger.

2017 No Barriers Summit Wrap Up

2017 marked our 9th No Barriers Summit, and each one has been better than the last. The No Barriers Summit is such a deeply lived experience that it’s difficult to sum it up. The immersive workshops, innovative technologies, and myriad of amazing people truly exemplify what we call a “No Barriers Life.” The Summit is the place where all our ideas become reality, and barriers are blasted through. Here are some highlights from this year’s Summit, held at the Resort at Squaw Creek, California.

Choose to Live

Mark Wellman is one of my personal heroes who I write about in No Barriers. His own No Barriers journey began when he was only 22 and suffered a terrible fall in the Sierras that left him paralyzed from the waist down. Excerpt from No Barriers:

Third S2S Expedition Returns – Two Steps Upward, One Slide Back

A couple weeks ago, I returned from our third Soldiers to Summits expedition high in the Peruvian Andes, with 15 veterans, all with either physical injuries or mental and psychological trauma. I met the team back in August at the No Barriers Summit during their first training session. I got acquainted with Aaron Hale, blind for less than two years. Aaron was leading an Army bomb squad when an IED exploded in his face. It took out his eyes, blew out his eardrums, took away his sense of smell and fractured his cranium and face bones.

Big October Ahead!

Today I am embarking on a month-long adventure in Peru. First, I’ll be joining a team of injured veterans as part of our third Soldiers to Summits expedition, set high in the Peruvian Andes. S2S is part of my No Barriers organization in which we use mountain journeys as both a metaphor and training ground for setting goals, building world-class teams, innovating through adversity and stepping up to lead and serve others again.

What's Your Everest? videos

On June 1st, nearly 60 people reached the 14,065-foot summit of Mount Bierstadt here in Colorado. What makes this exceptional is that many of the climbers faced incredible adversity to even get to the base of the mountain. Among the many stories, we had: a blind person who had never climbed a mountain before, a woman who had received a heart transplant, a man who survived two heart attacks (the last just three months ago), a stroke survivor, and several wounded warriors. No Barriers put together a great little video about our  climb that is well worth watching.

What's Your Everest? Climb, June 1st

We have a few spaces left for the No Barriers What's Your Everest? Climb on June 1st. I hope you will join me and the rest of our team for an ascent of Grays Peak (14,270 feet), just an hour from downtown Denver. Grays and its sister peak, Torreys, are the highest points along the entire Continental Divide in the United States and they provide exceptional views of the Front Range of Colorado.

3rd Annual What's Your Everest Climb - June 1st

Join me and the No Barriers team on June 1st for an ascent of Grays Peak (14,270 feet). And if you're still feeling frisky you can bag nearby Torreys Peak (14,267 feet) too. These are the highest peaks along the entire Continental Divide in the United States and they afford exceptional views of the Front Range of Colorado.

Climb Coto with El Jeffe!

My longtime climbing partner, Jeff Evans, is putting together another expedition to Cotopaxi next December. He's planning on taking a team of experienced climbers as well as one of the soldiers who didn't quite make it to the top with our S2S program. If you are comfortable using an ice axe and crampons and want the trip of a lifetime, this is a great opportunity!

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