Disabled Sports USA’s Warfighter Sports Team of severely wounded warriors is attempting a summit of Aconcagua, a nearly 23,000’ mountain in the Andes of Argentina, South America. Aconcagua is the world’s highest mountain outside of Asia. For world class mountain climbers, Aconcagua is one of the prized “Seven Summits”, the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents of the world.
The Warfighter Sports Team consists of four wounded warriors from two generations and three wars, a doctor, John Podraza, MD, from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a world class guide, Ryan Waters, who has accomplished the “Adventurers Grand Slam,” Alexander (Alf) Garner, from Willis, a sponsor of the climb. The wounded warriors are Sgt. Chris Buckminster, USMC, who is dealing with Traumatic Brain Injury; Lance Corporal Colton Carlson, USMC, a double leg amputee; Captain Dave Borden, USMC, an above knee amputee; and Sgt. Kirk Bauer, US Army, an above knee amputee from the Vietnam war and executive director of Disabled Sports USA/Warfighter Sports.
The purpose of the climb is to inspire and motivate fellow wounded warriors and others, who are facing the challenge of rehabilitation after severe injury, to realize that they can lead active, fulfilling lives with their disabilities. The long, arduous step by step process of rehabilitation is very similar to climbing mountains. Both require dedication, persistence, planning and executing fitness programs, and, finally, “taking one step at a time” to the thousands that it takes to reach the goal of rehabilitation and summiting.
January 22, 2015
Time to start heading up the mountain for this crew! Today was our last rest day at base camp before we move onto the mountain for the duration. It was an all-around good day in a lot of ways. For the wounded veterans it was another casual hang out day so that they could rest before the move onto the mountain.
The other part of our team, the support guys, did a carry to Camp Canada today in order to bring some of their personal gear up as well as to get some acclimatization. So we were all doing several different things today.
The guides brought up 4 loads of group gear and food to the camp 1 location, and Mike spent some time with our soldiers who have leg amputations on the hill near camp. They were getting used to a few techniques we plan to use such as short roping over steep rock steps. This was a big confidence builder for the guys!
We are heading to our camp one tomorrow so we are excited to get up on the mountain and will report in soon! For more information go to: http://www.disabledsportsusa.org/aconcagua/