DISABLED SPORTS USA wrote -
5 Wounded Warriors. 4 Good Legs. 3 Wars. 2 Generations. 1 Mountain.
On June 10, 2012, a team of five wounded warriors will begin their challenge to summit Denali (Mt. McKinley) in Alaska, at 20,320’ the highest mountain in North America and one of the coldest in the world. Team Warfighter Sports will test their limits, stamina and endurance while raising awareness of the abilities of our nation’s wounded warriors and inspire others with disabilities.
The Denali Challenge will begin shortly after Memorial Day to honor the sacrifices of America’s heroes and end around Independence Day, a day that celebrates the freedoms won by military service members.Team Warfighter Sports includes two double leg amputees, two single above knee amputees and one wounded warrior with severe muscle damage in the legs. The team includes warriors from two generations (the oldest is 64 and youngest is 29) and three wars, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cheer on their commitment by pledging your support! Funds raised will ensure that sports rehabilitation programs for wounded warriors continue to be offered free of cost through DSUSA's Warfighter Sports!
Facts about Denali
- 20,320 feet – highest in North America
- One of the coldest mountains on earth
- Temperatures reaching as low as 40o F below zero
- Wind speeds on the upper mountain can reach over 150mph
- Glaciers, separated by razor edge ridges and massive granite rock
Facts about Team Warfighter Sports
- Seeking to reignite their competitive, athletic spirit that military service members possess and motivate those recently injured as to what is possible
- Includes severely wounded from Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam
- Disabilities sustained in war include single and multiple leg amputees, nerve and bone damage, traumatic brain injury
- 6 months of intensive training, including mountains in Colorado and Bataan Memorial Death March, a 26.2 mile, one day hike in the desert of southern New Mexico
- Mountain Trip, an experienced guide group, will lead the challenge
Team Warfighter Sports Members
- Army Capt. Jesse Acosta (Ret.) Severely wounded by an IED in Iraq. Permanent damage to his hip, leg, back and arm. Scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2011 and twice completed a 100-mile bicycle ride and the Capital of Texas Triathlon. West Point graduate currently working on Wall Street.
- Army Sgt. Kirk M. Bauer, JD (Ret.) As disabled Vietnam veteran (left above knee amputee) and the Executive Director of Disabled Sports USA for the past 29 years, at age 64, Bauer still leads an active sports life participating with wounded warriors, youth and others in skiing, biking, hiking, golf and other sports. In 2010, he led a team of all amputee veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars on a successful summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
- Marine Capt. David Borden (Active Duty) After losing his leg above the knee to a suicide bomb in Iraq in 2008, Captain Borden returned to combat in Afghanistan in 2011. Borden has golfed, skied and run the Army Ten Miler through Disabled Sports USA's military program.
- Army Sgt. Neil Duncan (Ret.) Severely wounded in Afghanistan in 2005 by an improvised explosive device resulting in amputation of both legs. Scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro in 2010 alongside Kirk Bauer and continues to stay active in sports.
- Army Cpl. Steve Martin (Ret.)Served in the Army and Army National Guard for 8 years including assignment in Korea. Hit by an IED while on operations as a State Department contractor, with Joint US Forces Provincial Mentoring Team in Afghanistan. Martin lost both legs below the knees as a result of his injuries. After his amputations, he completed the Bataan Memorial Death March in 2011, a 26 mile marchin White Sands, NM. Steve golfs, bikes, swims and runs and has competed in triathlons.
Tentative Itinerary- West Buttress Route
- Day 1: Meeting Day in Anchorage, AK (Start Date)
- Day 2: Fly to Base Camp in Kahiltna Glacier 7,200’
- Day 3: Move to 7,800’ (2377m)
- Day 4: Carry to Kahiltna Pass
- Day 5: Move to 11,200’ (3415m)
- Day 6: Back-carry day
- Day 7: Carry to 13,500’ (4115m)
- Day 8: Move to 14,200’ (4330m)
- Day 9: Back-carry day
- Day 10: Carry to 16,400’ (5000m)
- Day 11: Rest/Acclimatization day
- Day 12: Move to 17,200’ (5244m)
- Day 13: Rest day
- Day 14: Summit Day!
- Day 15: First descent day
- Day 16: Descent and fly to Talkeetna
- Day 17-23: Contingency days
- Day 24: Fly home
A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for making this climb possible!
About Warfighter Sports
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for severely wounded warriors in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. through a nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 30 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter Sports rebuildslives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities.
Contributions cover all expenses for participation, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals for the warrior and a family member. Since 2003, more than 5,600 of the most severely wounded and their families have been served, including those with amputations, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual impairments, and significant nerve and muscle damage. For more information, visit www.warfightersports.org.
3 easy ways to ledge your support!
- Or if you would like to pledge your support via mail, here is our address:
Disabled Sports USA
451 Hungerford Drive, Suite 100
Rockville, MD 20850
Memo: Warfighter Sports Denali Challenge