Veterans Expeditions

Posts Tagged ‘Jax Fish House’

Colorado Climbing Series Summer 2013

VetEx climbed and trained all summer long in the Colorado high country.  VetEx Climbing Teams stood on the summits of Longs Peak, Mt. Meeker, Crestone Needle, Humboldt Peak, Mt. Shavano, Tabeguache Peak, Mt. Harvard, Mt. Yale, Mt. Belford, Missouri Mountain, and Huron Peak.  Our veteran teams trained in mountaineering and mountain travel techniques.

VetEx stands on the summit of Mt. Meeker

VetEx stands on the summit of Mt. Meeker

Longs Peak was one of the more memorable climbs of the summer.  It stands out because of the reasons why two of our vets wanted to climb this mountain so terribly bad.  Marine veteran Livio Ciciotti had just received a call that far too many veterans receive, one of his buddies had just taken his own life.

Livio remembers Kevin Oboyle on the summit of Longs Peak

Livio, wrapped in his flag he flew in Afghanistan, remembers Kevin Oboyle on the summit of Longs Peak

 Livio reached out to his veteran community at VetEx and what came about was some very hard and heartfelt discussions on suicide.  Turns out many of the veterans Livio climbs with at VetEx have had experience with veteran suicide and their willingness to talk and add their support reminded us all of why VetEx started in the first place.  It is to build veteran community through the outdoors and carry through to day to day life.

VetEx team climbing the Key Hole on Longs Peak at dawn.

VetEx team climbing the Key Hole on Longs Peak at dawn

So we climbed Longs Peak for Kevin Oboyle.  Livio knew that Kevin had wanted to climb Longs Peak and it was his mission to pay tribute to him at the summit.  VetEx Co-founder Nick Watson wore a Boston Red Sox hat to honor Kevin’s favorite ball club and Nick’s as well.

We signed you in at the top Kevin. May you rest in peace.

We signed you in at the top Kevin. May you rest in peace.

Navy veteran Dana Niemela showed up for the Longs Peak climb with a mission as well.  Dana is a Colorado resident, a VetEx regular, and lives in Denver.  She has been staring at Longs Peak for many years.  She wanted to climb the mountain in her daily horizon and knew this was the crew to climb with.

Longs Peak Summit

Nick, Dana, and Livio on Longs Peak Summit

We had a spectacular day on Longs as we paid tribute to our fallen friend.  We climbed with ease as we remembered that many in our community are suffering.  We climbed because it made us feel good about not taking this day for granted.  We climbed to inspire others to join us.  We will leave you with shots from other climbs across the beautiful state of Colorado. 

Crestone Needle summit

Crestone Needle summit

Climbing Crestone Needle

Climbing Crestone Needle

Climbing Mt. Meeker

Climbing Mt. Meeker

Descending Crestone Needle

Descending Crestone Needle

Climbing Wall Street on Longs Peak

Climbing Wall Street on Longs Peak

Climbing in the morning

Climbing in the morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

VetEx Whitewater Rafting and Climbing Browns Canyon Trip June 4-6 2013

Browns VetEx group river 2VetEx teamed up with Dvorak Expeditions to run our first whitewater rafting/rock climbing expedition in Browns Canyon Colorado this June. This trip will run annually with the help of local fundraising in Salida Colorado. Contact VetEx to find out how you can help with fundraising or sign up for next years trip.

This trip was three days in Browns Canyon with two nights spent out under the stars. Twelve veterans and five non-veterans made up the trip. The veterans had the opportunity to guide the boats down the river and climb canyon rock to their hearts content. The vets on this trip spanned from Vietnam to just home from Afghanistan. The dynamic of the group was very positive with plenty of great conversations of good times and bad times spent serving this great country of ours.

Browns boat Sam at BowWe will leave you with the pictures of the trip that tell the story better than words. This trip was made possible with fundraising from Jax Fish House/Big Red F Restaurant group Boulder CO.  Thank you Keen for donating river sandals to all of our veterans on this trip.  Thanks to Friends of Browns Canyon for the help and support. See you next year.

Browns VetEx group river 3Browns VetEx group river 5browns web 1 on belayBrowns climbing 1Browns dropBrowns boat in big waterBrowns VetEx group river 4browns flag fold


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