Just a quick note from Boulder, CO as I sit and reflect on an amazing weekend with our first Veterans Expedition Team: Force Factor Rocky Mountain National Park. Before discussing just how amazing and overwhelmingly positive experience this climb was, our thoughts and hearts go out to the amazing fire fighters, volunteers, and those affected by both the 4-Mile Canyon Fire and the Reservoir Road Fire in Larimer County. Please reach out to Veterans Expeditions if we can help out in any way.
I would like to thank everyone who made this most amazing weekend happen: Force Factor, Veterans Green Jobs, Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides, Spoken Image, the National Park Service (specifically Rocky Mountain National Park), and American Airlines via Air Compassion for Veterans, Leave No Trace, and literally hundreds of other sponsors, supporters, and partners. More than anything though, I would like to thank our military men and women who served our country valiantly and for those who joined us on our very first major ascent!
At 1:15 AM, eight veterans, one veteran family member, Force Factor representative Brad Attaway, and five members of the Spoken Image film crew documenting this first expedition, signed into the Longs Peak trail book and began what became an epic and rewarding climb for our team, climaxing with an 11:49 summit of Longs Peak, led by 65 year old, Vietnam Veteran, and all around amazing woman, Heidi Baruch!
The support of everyone we met on the mountain and in the Park through the last five days, and especially on the climb, was uplifting, humbling, and incredibly rewarding. The week was well above any of my wildest dreams and we will post more pictures and a longer trip report in the days and hours to come.
“If I could rewind this whole weekend and play it all over again…I would!” –Demond Mullins
“This was one of the best weekends in my life ever!” –Brad Attaway
“I no longer have to look back at 9/11 and think only of the pain and fear. I can now think of something really amazing that I did with my fellow veterans.” –Dean Sanchez
“Is it ok if we climb to the summit with you?” –dozens of climbers we met along the way