Mountain Trip is honored to have been selected to assist a team of five veterans as they attempt to climb to the summit of Denali this summer.
On June 10, 2012, the next step in their long journeys will take place as they meet our guide team in Anchorage, AK and finalize their preparations for their Denali Challenge, as part of a fundraising effort for Disabled Sports USA. Team Warfighter Sports will climb between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July to honor our nation’s wounded warriors and inspire others with disabilities.
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.
The team includes:
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 march in White Sands, NM. Steve golfs, bikes, swims and runs and has competed in triathlons.
For the past several years, Mountain Trip has been working with Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP), based in SW Colorado, to help take disabled athletes and veterans on expeditions in the Alaska Range. Our lead guide on this Warfighters Sports Team has worked closely with TASP to help develop strategies to enable disabled climbers to overcome perceived obstacles and to find success in difficult, glaciated terrain.
Drew Ludwig from Telluride, CO
Ben Adkinson from Bozeman, MT
Chris Piasecki from Telluride, CO
Thad Miller from Pagosa Springs, CO
Gabi Benel from Aspen, CO
Will Hockett from Portland, OR
This trip has attracted some interest in the media and was recently featured in a Huffington Post article. Two of the team were interviewed for the CBS Morning Show, which will air this Saturday, June 9th.
Working with these guys for the past 8 months has been truly profound. We wish them all the best and hope that they have an amazing time as they attempt to climb the highest peak in North America. We encourage you to read more about their journeys on the Warfighter Sports blog as well. This is a fundraising effort, and we hope that anyone with the ability to contribute to their cause will do so.