For the past two years, in conjunction with Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP), Mountain Trip has helped organize mountaineering courses in the Alaska Range for a number of disabled athletes. This year the athletes requested to up the challenge and want to climb a peak in the Range.
TASP is a non-profit organization assisting disabled athletes in a wide variety of sports and adventures, including skiing, rafting, cycling and rock climbing, to name a few. They are an institution in the Telluride community and have helped thousands of people achieve and exceed their dreams. We at Mountain Trip have a deep respect and appreciation for their work and as a “thank you” to their organization, we first helped them with an “Alaska Adventure” program in 2009.
The first trip into the Alaska Range was a learning experience for all of us, and all the participants recognized that this was quite experimental on all of our parts, but that we had the very best intentions and would try our best to help them have a trip of a lifetime. Strong believers in community service, we ran (and continue to run) this trip at our cost, so that it might be more accessible to as many participants as possible. Our air taxi partners at Talkeetna Air Taxi provided us with discounted flights to the Coffee Glacier and together, we had a profound and really amazing experience.
In 2010 we ran two such trips into the Pika Glacier region known as Little Switzerland, and our collective skills grew as we learned and invented systems so that athletes with a wide variety of disabilities including traumatic brain injuries, spinal injuries, amputations and visual impairments could experience the beauty and challenge of mountaineering in the wilds of Alaska.
This year, the athletes requested a bigger challenge, with the goal of climbing to the summit of a peak in the Alaska Range. They had proven themselves motivated and capable mountaineers so we are going to join them for an ascent of Mount Dickey in the Great Gorge of the Ruth Glacier. We are approaching this as climbers and if conditions do not seem suitable for our planned route of ascent, we have other options open to us, but we are definitely going climbing!
Let’s meet the team!
Tim McGough (Program Director for TASP)
Gabi Benel (TASP assistant)
Drew Ludwig (lead guide)
Adam Smith (guide)
Summer Colt (assistant guide and James’s daughter)
The team will meet in Anchorage on June 6th and fly to the Range on the 7th, after a day of equipment checks and reviewing various systems. We will post daily updates and hope you all enjoy the vicarious experience!