Oct 4, 2012
It’s been a while since my last update, but next Friday (Oct 12) is the day I plan to head to the mountains to attempt 14 summits in 14 days. Please follow me in the journey here or on facebook or twitter! I need your help, please post about this on facebook or your favorite social media, tell your friends about 14ers4Kids and if you are willing, I’d still appreciate your support in the form of a donation to help orphaned kids. Thanks again to everyone who has donated already; we are close to $7500!
I have been working hard since the knee surgery to get my leg ready for this, but as a result I am not in the best climbing shape. It’s amazing how much and how fast your muscles atrophy after surgery, the swelling causes them to basically shut down. There were several days after surgery that as hard as I tried to just flex or tighten my quads, they just sat there and did nothing. Slowly I started to be able to get them moving and responding again and with help of Falcon Physical Therapy I seem to be getting stronger every day. It was just the past couple days I have been able to walk down stairs, for some reason going up was ok but down was a challenge. Two and a half miles is the longest hike I have done lately and that wasn't climbing anything, but a few small hills. To be honest, I have no idea if I can climb one, a few, or (hopefully) all 14 peaks. But I am not going to give up on this goal without a fight. As I have said, I wanted this 2 weeks of climbing to represent the uphill climb orphaned kids face everyday…I am starting to realize that their lives are filled with challenges bigger than I ever imagined.
The weather is going to be a huge factor now and as a result I am not sure today which mountains I will be climbing or on which days. The schedule is going to have to be flexible and may change day to day due to conditions. For anyone who is willing or interested in joining me on a climb, I would love to have you along…but I can’t give you a set schedule like I had posted before. Please email me at 14ers4Kids@gmail.com if you have interest in joining a climb between Oct 13 and Oct 26th, I will get back to you.
For now, I plan to start with Handies Peak on Oct 13, it's one of the "easiest" 14ers, and I can do two more (Redcloud and Sunshine) from the same camp the next day. From there I am not sure what is next, but I will send out updates both on this site and on facebook and twitter. Please follow along, and please send prayers and positive thoughts...I will need them!
Sep 5, 2012
When I started this project I wanted the 2 weeks of climbing to represent the uphill climb that so many orphans face each day. I guess I underestimated just how difficult their little lives must be. Having surgery wasn’t in the plans. When I heard the word that one of our 14ers4Kids team members had been killed climbing Crestone Peak, I thought about how many orphans precious lives are cut short as well. The day before I was to leave to start the climbing, I learned about my torn-up knee and realized that so many of them have enormous medical challenges too. Much bigger than my torn meniscus. I guess the message is, “be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it” these kids have no other choice but to deal with these and other challenges every day. Strange that now I will need to rely on their strength, their determination as an example to keep me going.
|Amazing! A picture of inside my knee, yup there it is.|
The surgery was a success! We are so blessed to live in a time that modern medicine can fix us and get us going again. Without it I am sure my climbing days would have been over, probably no more snowboarding or simply running around with my kids. But thanks to Dr. Jones and his staff I am ready to start healing and getting back to life as normal (or close to it). He said it would never be 100% but he felt like I could return to my active life-style.
The tear was very similar to the one I had in my left knee last year, and for the most part its back to normal. I recovered pretty quick from that. Not knowing exactly what to expect I took it pretty easy at the beginning, but now that I have been thru this before I think I can be a little more aggressive with my rehab and get back to the goal to climb these 14 summits within 6 or 7 weeks. The weather is changing too; this will mean colder temps and probably some snow, but hopefully not enough to keep me from climbing. Again, just another reminder of how difficult it is for so many kids.
This project isn’t really about me, or for that matter climbing mountains…it’s about helping children who have no one. So far with so much support we have already raised over $6K and I know that money will make a big impact on several children. The good news is with out even taking one step on a trail (well except for the many miles of training the past months) 14ers4Kids is already a success! I want to again express my gratitude to everyone who has helped, and in so many ways. However, when I set a goal I plan to accomplish it, and my personal goal is to climb these mountains; so I have lots of PT and work to do but I hope to get on with the climbing soon. Please keep the orphans of the world (and me for a speedy recovery) in your thoughts and prayers.
Aug 31, 2012
|Dr. Jones points out the spot|
I pushed some on Tuesday after a couple weeks of taking it easy, and on Wednesday I started to realize that something was really wrong. I want to say a BIG thanks to Dr. Jones and the whole staff at Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group! They got me in the office fast with a call placed late Wednesday, they made magic happen to get me into an MRI yesterday with little notice and pushed to get the scans read so I could have results before noon today. I tore my left knee last year and in Dec had it repaired by Dr. Jones and it's been great since, I am hoping for the same results this time. More to come on a re-schedule date after the surgery.
Aug 22, 2012
People doing good things, that is one of the things I wanted to do with this project; to motivate people to get out and do something for someone else. In the case of 14ers4Kids the goal is helping orphaned children find a home with a loving foster family. The mountain climbing dedicated to 14ers4Kids is bigger than just my personal goal to summit 14 mountains in 14 days, others are joining in the climb. As you see below with Jaydn and her mom. Also Gary is coming from KS, and others from all around Colorado. There are currently 14 other people who have signed up to climb for this cause. Click HERE to support a climber. Also tons of people in the media, like Ellen Cole (one of the first to feature the project) from the C Springs Gazette. (see Media tab) Woody and Goose from Peak FM, Mark Goldberg and Jay Miller at KVOR, and lots of others. Business have and are supporting, our Pizza day at Marcos Pizza is Monday Aug 27! GoLite, Curves For Women, The Mountain Chalet and several others (listed below) have allowed us to post flyers. My family has been amazing in support, I love you all! So many others have made a donation and thank you again for your support!
September 1st is coming fast, I plan on updating this site and facebook as much as I can as I have cell access. I will also be able to "check in" with you along the way via satellite, so look for my "Pings From Peaks" on facebook. Chrisa is also going to help update here, during the climb and we hope to be able to posts lots of photos. She will also help coordinate with all the climbers on the climbing team during the 2 weeks. So "stay tuned" and thanks again for your support of the project. - Dave
Aug 20, 2012
|Jadyn Mei takes on Mt Democrat, wind and all!|
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Danielle Marie about joining the team and climbing for kids. She along with her daughter decided to do their own climb to benefit 14ers4Kids and this past Sunday the mother and daughter climbing team tackled Mt. Democrat! Jadyn Mei is from China and is 8 years old. Pretty impressive to have already climbed her first 14er! The family came together when she was 2 1/2 and they have lived in Colorado now for 4 years. Mom says she took her 10 year old son on Mt. Quandry last year and had wanted to take Jaydn on a 14er but was unsure if she was ready. She says "Once I saw the opportunity for 14ers4Kids, I thought she would love to do it. She has always had a heart for the children that are waiting for their new parents in China." (Did I mention she is 8?) Mom reports it was a cold and windy day temps in the 40's (wind chills below that) she says it was a "long, difficult haul, but we made it up Democrat, she is very proud of that" She should be, because that is totally awesome and she will be an inspiration to me as I a climb my 14ers starting Sep 1. Please support Danielle Marie and Jaydn with a donation in their name; one amazing little girl and an awesome mom!
You can also join our climbing team or create your own climb for kids, more info HERE!
Aug 16, 2012
I also want to say THANKS to Tepui Tents for their sponsorship in making it possible for me to have some wonderful camping accommodations during the 2 weeks of climbing. If you haven't heard of Tepui tents check them out, these are roof-top tents that mount on your roof rack and then pop open to provide a luxurious "tent" that has a built in bed and light and is up off the ground.
I can't wait to give it a try - I never sleep very well in my tent in the middle of no-where, plus, putting it up and taking it down is a pain. They are called the Rocky Mountains and after you sleep a few nights on the ground here in Colorado (even with a nice pad) you will know why. I always find myself slipping off the pad, poking holes in my pad, I have even had mice invade my tent...not to mention a visit one time from 2 bears! That was an adrenaline filled few moments! Now, I won't have to worry about all that, as I will be sleeping on a nice bed 6 feet up from the mice, bears and rocks!
Aug 10, 2012Climbers are joining the team not only from around Colorado but even as far away as Kansas City! We have several climbers from here in Colorado Springs and Gregory from Westminster has officially joined the team. Several others from around Colorado have given me a "maybe" and I hope you guys will officially commit soon. (You know who you are!) I've also received a few other "maybes" from outside Colorado, and I hope to see you guys on the official climbing team soon too!
To join the team CLICK HERE!
|Gary McClain with his wife|
Aug 9, 2012
Eating pizza and helping kids.
Could it get any better?
I am so thankful that Marcos Pizza on Briargate in Co Springs is joining with 14ers4Kids. On Monday Aug 27th they are going to donate a portion of the proceeds from all orders to the 14ers4Kids project for Half the Sky Foundation. Lunch or dinner, dine in, carry out or delivery (call in orders at 719-434-3773) it all counts and will go to help the kids.
I hope you will save the date AUG 27 and plan to join me and enjoy some pizza to help us raise more funds for the kids, they are open 11am till 10pm and are located at Briargate Blv and Chapel Hills Dr. "Join" the event on facebook at www.facebook.com/14ers4kids
July 27, 2012
Time to head back up to 14K tomorrow as the start of this adventure is now 5 short weeks away! My friend Steve and I are planning for a summit of Pikes Peak, hopefully it will be my 3rd time to climb to the top of Americas Mountain.
This week a rock band from Denver "Heart and Soul Radio" signed up to climb Challenger and Kit Carson with me on Sep 9th. These are two pretty tough mountains! I am so excited about this, they are not only great guys but they have a big following in Denver and I expect that they will be able to expose this project to many people who wouldn't otherwise hear about it. Rock on Heart and Soul Radio! They have set a goal of $500 and that is so cool, I know they can do it. To support them go to their fund raising page HERE!
Finally, a big THANKS to Marcos Pizza on Briargate for helping to support 14ers4Kids!
July 23, 2012
A great week in the high country! Last week I spent two cold nights at 12K in American Basin, it was great to get away from the heat. I hiked the American basin a couple times including a trip up nearby 14er, Handies Peak. Then went over to St Elmo and a hiked up to an amazing view on a 12K ridge above Handcock Lake. I started this week with an "almost" summit of Mt. Elbert on Sunday. I took a couple young guys up for their first 14er. One made it to the summit and had a great day; the other had some trouble with the altitude, so he and I turned back just before the summit. All in all a good day in the mountians for me, but I unfortunately was reminded by young Jeff's misfortune of how hard a day in the montains can be.
I really enjoyed going back to Elbert. It was my first 14er and she beat me up a bit too. I recall thinking after the hike "why would anyone want to do that!?" A few days later...I was planning my next one. It hooked me! I think I will make a return trip in the next couple weeks to Colorado's tallest peak, and also do the 14,134ft sub-peak "South Elbert". Sounds like good training to me! Thanks for your support everyone.
July 19, 2012
One year....Today I am blessed to have a wonderful daughter named Olivia because of a truly amazing person. We miss you.
Now I am focused on a goal to make 14 summits and make a difference in several children that will last a life-time. Thanks to everyone who have helped so far. After a 3 day trip to the American Basin (one of the most beautiful places in Colorado by the way) I have a good idea of the challenge ahead in doing 14 days. More climbing this coming weekend, so far so good! Here are a few shots from American Basin, and summit view from Handies Peak, 14,048ft. (above)
If its your first 14er or your 100th, I would love to have you join in on the climbing and the fundraising. It's really easy to set up a webpage that you can share with friends and family get them to sponsor your climb as you climb you can help reach the fundraising goal or "summit". That is a summit I can't make solo!
July 13, 2012
July 9, 2012
As you probably know this project came out of a tragic loss to our family and our community. Friends of Laurel have put together a book telling stories about her amazing life in the words of a few of the many people she touched.
This is a great tribute to a wonderful person who's life may have been cut short, but what a wonderful life she lived! You can view and order the book here.
We Love You Laurel!
July 5, 2012
Thank you Ellie Cole at the Gazette for a great article about 14ers4Kids! See the story in the OutThere section of the paper today or electronically at this link:OutThereColorado.com This really helps get the word out!
June 29, 2012
Thanks for reading the latest! I need your help in spreading the word about this project. If you haven't hit the LIKE button on our facebook page, please do that. You can also help by hitting like or share on posts when you see something new.
Check out www.facebook.com/14ers4kids
I am also starting an e-mail list, I promise not to fill your inbox with tons of e-mails, but if you would like updates via e-mail please send me a message firstname.lastname@example.org just let me know you would like to be on the list. (I won't share your e-mail with anyone, I promise)
Hey guys! What's up? I noticed so far it's all ladies who have signed up for the climbing team. Come on, pick a peak and sign up to climb with me. Not that I mind climbing with the ladies at all! :) Once you sign up, you can create your own fundraising page and help in the fund raising effort, it will also be a huge help to me to have people join me on the climbs.
June 28, 2012
I want to say thanks to area business who are helping by putting out our flyers! If you have a business willing to help, please contact me!