Veterans Expeditions made 3 trips to Ouray Ice Park this Winter. These trips saw active military and veterans learn new skills as they worked hard to improve their ice climbing. We stayed together, cooked meals together, and enjoyed old stories of military service and new stories of civilian life. Veterans were focused on creating civilian success and active military were taking a break before the next deployment.
Army veteran Curt Bean Climbs Ice for the first time at Ouray Ice Park with VetEx. Curt has recently been recognized here in Colorado with the Governor’s Creative Leadership Award for his work with the Art of War Project. Way to go Curt!
We had ice climbing first timers and experienced veteran climbers sharing knowledge of all things on and off the ice. It was great to see so many veterans going after it all day climbing and enjoying each others company in the evening.
Marine veteran Johnny Krueger mixed climbing very well.
There was great ice to be had at the Ouray Ice Park all winter long. We climbed in the snow and in clear skies. We climbed mixed routes, hard routes, easy routes, we climbed it all. The community created while climbing at the ice park has followed us back home. These ice climbing veterans have continued to climb with each other and hang out outside of VetEx. The true test to the VetEx community is that our veterans lean on each other for support outside of our trips. These trips build camaraderie that endures into these veterans home lives.
At VetEx we will challenge you outside and everything else falls into place when veterans meet that challenge as a strong community. See you out there.
Our Pint Glass Sale at KEEN Happy Hour. VetEx logo looking good.
This winter a team of VetEx veterans went to the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City. We went with big plans of new partnerships and quality time with long time partners. Keen set us up in their booth Wednesday through Friday of the show. We interacted with Keen staff, Keen customers, and show goers all day long in the booth. Things started to heat up for pint sales and happy hour. Keen donated all of the proceeds to VetEx. Thanks for the continued support Keen.
Keen and VetEx at the 2014 Winter OR Show
VetEx veterans had the pleasure of hanging out and talking with Wade Davis after his talk at the Conservation Alliance Breakfast. Wade is the author of Into the Silence, a spectacular book on World War I and the military veteran climbers who took on Everest, Mallory included. This book is a must read for the veteran climber. Mr. Davis writes of war in such detail and accuracy. The reader can defiantly draw comparisons to then and now. Those veteran climbers paved the way for VetEx today. Many of those WW I vets were unemployed and looking for peace and a future in the outdoors.
VetEx Leadership gets some wise words from a very wise man. Thanks for the time Wade Davis. A class act and avid supporter of veterans.
From left to right: Dan Wiwczar VetEx East Program Director, Josh Brandon heads up SCMO, Wade Davis, Stacy Bare Sierra Club Outings Director, Nick Watson VetEx Executive Director.
Wade talked with our group about his book, Into the Silence, and his current effort to save his homeland in The Sacred Headwaters. A story of the Stikine, Skeena, and Nass in Northern British Columbia. The knowledge, subject matter, and passion Mr. Davis has on these subjects is impressive. I have never spoken with a better speaker and story teller. We will make sure that VetEx vets will have opportunities in the future to speak with this amazing man and all he has to teach and tell us.
The VetEx Leadership with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. Sally heads up the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, and much more.
The VetEx leadership team had the chance to speak with Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. It was great to speak with Sally about all her job entails. Fascinating woman working hard in service to this countries wild places and open spaces.
We attended the Mountain Hard Wear lunch and got updated on all the new designs and specifics for their new line.
We wrapped up the show at the Kahtoola booth. Kahtoola was our first sponsor in 2010 when most folks would not give us the time of day, Kahtoola wanted to make sure our veterans were in their snowshoes and microspikes. We will always be loyal supporters of Kahtoola as they have been very loyal to VetEx.
We attended the National Geographic Adventurers of the Year party on Thursday where Stacy Bare and Nick Watson (VetEx Co-Founders) were presented with the 2014 Adventurers of the Year honor. Thanks National Geographic for recognizing our veteran run, veteran led trips and expeditions nation wide.
It was a great show for VetEx as we got to meet so many new faces and hang out with old partners to talk about future trips and the future of veterans outside. Thank you once again Keen, Kahtoola, and National Geographic for making our show so eventful.
In 2013 VetEx ran over 30 trips across the United States getting hundreds of military veterans outside and earning the honor of 2014 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year. In 2014, our schedule is going to be even bigger as we hike, paddle, fish, climb, mountaineer, and mountain bike across the nation as our VetEx Teams truly experience the “Land Defended”. In 2015 we plan to send a team of VetEx veterans on a summit attempt of Denali, the highest peak in North America. In 2016 our goal is to put a VetEx team on the tallest mountain that can be climbed. Get out with VetEx in 2014 and experience veteran run, veteran led trips and expeditions.
1. January 4-5 Ice Climbing Ouray Ice Park CO with VET
2. January 21-25 Outdoor Retailer Salt Lake Utah
3. February 1-2 Ice Climbing Ouray Ice Park CO
4. February 6-7 10th Mtn Hut Community Service Ski or Snowshoe Overnight Leadville CO
5. February 10-11 10th Mtn Hut Community Service Ski or Snowshoe Overnight Leadville CO
6. February 15-16 VetEx East Ice Climbing Weekend North Conway NH
7. March 3-7 VetEx SCMO Montana Ice Week
8. March 13-14 10th Mtn Hut Community Service Ski or Snowshoe Overnight Leadville CO
9. March 24-25 10th Mtn Hut Community Service Ski or Snowshoe Overnight Leadville CO
10. Many more 10th Mtn Hut Community Service Ski or Snowshoe winter trips and summer work trips as well
11. March Ice Climbing Ouray CO Trip TBA
12. May 24-25 Memorial Day Weekend Local Rock Climbing meet-ups in CO, WA, NY.
13. June 2nd annual Browns Canyon Float and Climb Salida Co 3 days 15 vets TBA
14 June Colorado Climbing Week TBA
15. July Mountain School WA TBA
16. July 9-16 Alaska Program (Trip is Full)
17-19. July/August Pacific Northwest Volcano Climbs as Special Events
Mt. Hood OR
Mt. Rainier WA
Mt. Shasta CA
20. July 2nd annual Veteran Outside Adventure Film School WA TBA
21. August VetEx East hiking, climbing, and fishing week NH and MA TBA
22. September 4-14 9/11 5th Annual 9/11 Climbing Series. The Pickets Traverse Climb ending on Glacier Peak North Cascades WA
23. 4th annual Veterans Day Climb Joshua Tree CA
24. Mountain Bike Team to run 3 or more race in 2014 April-September CO, AZ, UT
*More trips will be added and trip dates updated as the information is available so check back regularly
Please email [email protected] for more information or to reserve your slot for any of these trips. All military veterans are eligible. DD214 and filled out applications required. You can mail applications and DD214′s to the address below or email to [email protected] Please note that this schedule will be updated on a regular basis as trip dates confirm and current conditions become known. In general, all trips are at no cost to military veterans except for travel to and from a given trip and in some cases a reserve your slot fee. Our larger trips and expeditions may require that you have been out with VetEx prior to attending these more expensive expeditions. Reserve your slot today as many of these trips will fill-up.
Veterans Expeditions Application Form
1031 E St.
Salida, CO 81201
Photo credit to Eric Schuette via Chad Jukes
Vote for Nick Watson and Stacy Bare (VetEx Co-Founders) for the Peoples Choice Award
Nick and Stacy at Montana Veteran Ice Climbing Week March 2013.
Nick and Stacy have been awarded 2014 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year for their work at Veterans Expeditions.
Nick and Stacy on the summit of Mt. Rainier.
The summit of Mt. Elbert CO. The highest mountain in Colorado, 2nd highest in the lower 48 states. Veterans from the Army and Marines as well as Active Duty Airforce.
This Veterans Day we ran two trips, one in Colorado, and one in New York. The Colorado group climbed Mt. Elbert, the highest mountain in the state at 14, 433 feet or so. The New York group climbed rock for two days in the Gunks. The veterans and active duty military that showed up and climbed with us this Veterans Day was dynamic and diverse.
Not your average Veterans Day Parade Colorado
We had first timers and outdoor professionals. Male and Female veterans showed up to be contributing members of the larger VetEx team. The time spent out with all these veterans and all these service stories was nothing short of awesome. Veterans let their guards down with one another and out came the stories of war and civilian life struggles and success.
VetEx East 2 days of rock climbing in the Gunks group.
Thank you to all those who have served. These trips are for you!
Major John Turner tearing up some rock.