Wounded veterans begin climb on Denali, Alaska, today
Most Americans never climb to the peak of any mountain, let alone the highest mountain in North America. Five wounded soldiers, including retired Army Sgt. Neil Duncan, embark upon the month-long challenge of climbing to 20,320-foot summit Denali on Mt. McKinley, Alaska, starting today.
The climbing group is referred to as Team Warfighter Sports, and is sponsored by Disabled Sports USA, an organization committed to changing the lives of wounded American soldiers by involving them in sports.
The team’s slogan is: 5 Wounded Warriors. 4 Good Legs. 3 Wars. 2 Generations. 1 Mountain. Team members include Army Capt. Jesse Acosta (Ret.), Army Sgt. Kirk M. Bauer, JD (Ret.), Marine Capt. David Borden, Army Cpl. Steve Martin (Ret.) and Army Sgt. Neil Duncan (Ret.). The team includes veterans of three wars (Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan).
Duncan describes the trip the day before he was to leave for Alaska (via CU JMC student Angelica Kalika).
Duncan describes his experience climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (via the Disabled Sports USA website).
CBS This Morning aired a segment on the Denali trek, featuring Bauer and Acosta.
If you wish to follow the team or donate to future treks, visit their Crowdrise page.
A tentative itinerary of the Denali trip (Courtesy Disabled Sports USA):
West Buttress Route
June 10: Meeting Day in Anchorage, AK (Start Date)
June 11: Fly to Base Camp in Kahiltna Glacier 7,200’
June 12: Move to 7,200’ near the E Fork of the Kahlitna Glacier
June 13: Move to 8,500′ +/- on the Kahiltna
June 14: Move to 10,200’
June 15: Move to 11,200′
June 16: Move to 13,000, area known as Polo Fields, just below Windy Corner
June 17: Move to 14,200’ (4330m)
June 18: Back-carry day
June 19: Rest/Acclimatization day
June 20: Rest/Acclimatization/ Skills day
June 21: Move to 16,200’ and camp on the Ridge
June 22: Move to 17,200’ (5244m)
June 23: Move to high camp at 18,200′ +/- on the Upper Harper Glacier, north of Denali Pass
June 24: Rest Day
June 25: Summit Day! Descent and fly to Talkeetna
June 26: First Descent Day
June 27: Second Descent Day
June 28- July 2 Contingency Days, Fly to Talkeetna
July 3: Fly Home