Many opportunities exist for both individual and corporate involvement/sponsorship:
What the Soldiers to the Summit Expedition is about:
12 Injured Soldiers
6 Successful Everest Climbers
One Challenging Summit
A World of Opportunity
Among the many tragedies of war are the serious injuries inflicted upon our soldiers. When they return home, these heroes often have disabilities that may seem insurmountable. The goal of the Soldiers to the Summit Himalayan Expedition (SSHE) and World TEAM Sports is to demonstrate to everyone that great things can be achieved no matter how high the obstacles.
In spring of 2001, the most successful expedition in Everest history placed 19 climbers on the summit. Among them was Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind person to climb the highest mountain on all seven continents. This momentous achievement proved to be life changing for each of the team members. Indeed, many have returned to the Himalaya; between them, they now have reached the summit of Everest 32 times. With the tenth anniversary of their historic expedition approaching, the team wants to give back in a meaningful way.
The SSHE will assemble a team of injured military men and women. Together with our sponsors, we will prepare for our Himalayan ascent with a training weekend in Colorado. Then in the fall, we will depart for Nepal to attempt an ascent of Lobuche East, a spectacular 20,075 foot peak at the foot of Mount Everest.
With Erik and the Everest team, our injured soldiers will have an adventure that few able-bodied people can imagine. It will be a mental and physical challenge for everyone—and will undoubtedly be one of the greatest experiences of their lives.
The SSHE team will consist of military men and women with various disabilities. Their incredible journeys of survival, challenge, recovery, and transformation will motivate each other and fuel their effort through the rugged high-mountain environment. These ‘wounded warriors’ have a strong desire to demonstrate the human spirit by giving back to their fellow service men and women. The soldiers will need to support each other as they focus on abilities over disabilities and find a collective team strength.
The support team will include Erik Weihenmayer who will demonstrate the skills he developed to overcome his own disability, blindness (http://touchthetop.com). Many members of his Everest team have signed on to help the soldiers reach their own summit.
The expedition organizer is World TEAM Sports (http://www.worldteamsports.org), a non-profit organization that showcases what can be achieved through the power of an inclusive and diverse team. Since 1987, WTS has organized high-profile athletic events around the globe with the motto, “The Exceptional Athlete Matters (TEAM).” Among their many achievements are two successful expeditions to Kilimanjaro, bike rides across the United States and Vietnam, and a 13,000-mile around-the-world ride that took 9 months.
Outward Bound, the world famous outdoor education organization, will help train the team at their Leadville, Colorado campus through its Veterans program (http://www.outwardbound.org/index.cfm/do/cp.veterans). By the time our soldiers leave for Nepal in September, they will have the necessary skills and physical conditioning to achieve our goal.
The summit of Lobuche East is located just 8.7 miles from the summit of Mount Everest. At 20,075 feet, this striking peak will require good physical conditioning and adequate time to adjust to the altitude. From the airstrip in Lukla, it takes seven days of trekking through the spectacular Khumbu region to reach Advance Base Camp at 18,212 feet.
The route up the South Ridge begins with steep (50°) snow and ice slopes, where we will fix lines to assist and protect our veterans. A high camp will be established where the slopes meet the ridge, allowing us to get a good rest before the summit bid.
The sinuous, knife-edged snow ridge leads directly to the top, although a false summit is the high point for most climbers. Our team will continue to the true East Summit of Lobuche, which requires either descending into a notch and up the final snow slopes or rigging a rope traverse between these points.
From the summit, our veterans will be treated to incredible views of Ama Dablam (22,349 feet), Pumori (23,494 feet), Nuptse (25,790 feet), Lhotse (27,940 feet), and towering above all, Everest (29,029 feet). The descent to Base Camp will be done in just a few hours.
Participation: Approximately 12-14 injured service men and women
Duration: 20 days
Departure: Tentatively September 24, 2010
Support Trek: A small group of supporters will have the opportunity to trek to Base Camp for a donation of $15,000. While the expedition is climbing Lobuche, these trekkers can continue on to Kala Patar, which overlooks Everest Base Camp.
Great challenges deserve great publicity. The Soldiers to the Summit Himalayan Expedition is an exciting candidate for media attention. Clearly not a mere publicity stunt, this climb offers a compelling story about true heroes trying to better themselves and fellow injured soldiers. We will facilitate this media coverage with press releases, a web site, blog posts, and social networking.
A documentary film team will accompany the SSHE, either for national network coverage or a film. Michael Brown, who produced the award-winning film “Farther Than The Eye Can See” (21 international film festival awards; named by Men’s Journal as one of the Twenty Best Adventure DVDs of all time) about the Erik’s Everest climb, has himself climbed Everest four times and operates Serac Adventure Films (http://www.seracfilms.com/) and has won numerous awards including 3 Emmys. The expedition will also include a professional still photographer and writer who can provide images and articles to media and sponsors.
Presenting Sponsor: $150,000
Summit Sponsor: $50,000
Base Camp Sponsor: $25,000
Sponsor an Injured Soldier: $10,000
Film Sponsor: $250,000
Support Trekkers: $15,000