We did it!
September 11, 2016
When I was 15 years old, I walked through the door of Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon for the first time and my life was forever changed. What I saw while standing on the South Rim left me breathless and made my suburban NJ teenage world so small and insignificant. I immediately understood peace and I instinctive knew my place. The Canyon spoke to me at my core. I knew that at some point, I would make the west my home. Since that day I have made well over 25 pilgrimages back to both North & South Rims to feel that again…to recharge…to feel peace. I often visualize it when I am not there. That is the power of the beauty of nature.
The beauty of nature is transformative. The mountains, the canyons, the trees, the wildflowers, the rivers, the lakes, the wind, the sounds, the smells, the sky, the stars, the sunrises, the sunsets…the wildlife. These places and things hold the elixirs of healing, of rebirth and of renewal.
Imagine never getting the opportunity to see or be immersed in the beauty of nature…ever. Well, that is where Big City Mountaineers comes in for our urban youth.
The youth that the Big City Mountaineers (BCM) support and mentor live in a world where these types of experiences are not readily available for many reasons. Most of these kids will likely never miss such experiences unless someone intervenes. The reality of these kids does not include a pair of boots and a backpack or a night out under the stars. BCM introduces at-risk city kids to nature. BCM empowers and opens the door to a new world. BCM builds individuals and teams and instills confidence, character, self-image and independence. BCM teaches leadership with nature as the backdrop. Every year I peruse the “Summit for Someone” trips on BCM’s website (http://www.bigcitymountaineers.org) looking for an opportunity to participate in a local 501(c)3 non-profit right here in my backyard (Golden, Colorado). Every year I fall short of committing by making excuses related to time, money and my self-perceived views on the hassle of fundraising.
No more excuses my friends! A trip opportunity has presented itself that seems ripe for a “Summit for Someone” fundraising effort and I need your help to make it count!
On September 4th I will be starting a solo, self-funded, 7-day road trip beginning from Las Vegas to touch the summit of the highpoints of 3 southwestern states. Starting with Mt Humphrey’s (12,633’) in Arizona, then moving on to Boundary Peak (13,140’) in Nevada, and culminating with an attempt of Mt. Whitney (14,505’) in California. A 12er, a 13er and a 14er. Mt. Humphrey’s, in the San Francisco Peaks, looms above the South Rim of the Grand Canyon which makes it the perfect starting point. Mt. Whitney is the highest point in the lower 48, making for a lofty finish to the journey…Boundary Peak, well, it is a remote dry, hot, scree slog in between. My hope is to have the time and weather window to summit them all. My skin in the game is literal, getting these old bones moving and keeping them going to finish the 3-fer.
WHERE YOU COME IN: I need your support to motivate me along on this journey and to support Big City Mountaineers because they make a difference. Please give a little, give a lot, give what you can. Pay it forward with me to help me put some city kids into the wilderness and give them an opportunity to wander in awe of nature. Your donation goes directly to Big City Mountaineers via Crowdrise with very little overhead transaction fee. Big City Mountaineers is a 501(c)3 non-profit and your donation is tax deductible. Your generosity will go a long way to changing lives.
For your entertainment pleasure throughout my trip, I am hoping to have my Delorme device configured to lay down some tracks of my progress via the world wide interwebs at https://share.delorme.com/ChristopherNeves, my social media feeds via The Facebook and Twitter (@frozenskillet) linked to post updates via my GPS, and my Blog maintained to journal the journey (still working on the technical aspects, I will share soon via Twitter). I’ll try to give you a front row seat to the summits and will carry you all with me on the journey.
As always, peace and love to all and thank you in advance for any and all support. Let's be the change…and let's make a difference.