Happy Anniversary to No Barriers!

A big congratulations to everyone at No Barriers and Global Explorers! It has been a year since our two non-profits merged and it has indeed been a happy marriage. Of course, there have been growing pains too but I feel confident that this will continue to be a fruitful joining of like-minded people. And I am looking forward to an exciting year ahead! Below is a letter from our Executive Director as he looks back on all that we've accomplished in 12 short months:

Global Explorer deadlines approaching

Back in October, I told you about two exciting Global Explorers programs that are happening this year: a Grand Canyon adventure and trekking in Peru. The deadline for applying to those has passed, however, there is a new opportunity for anyone between the age of 15 and 19! It's particularly aimed at those who are deaf or hearing-impaired but is also open to the hearing-abled.

Lobuche drama

I know many of you have seen the movie High Ground. But you probably haven't seen this clip that didn't make the cut. It's a great example of how our team came together, dealt with major adversity, and saved the life of one of our soldiers. Starring my good friend, Jeff Evans! Thanks again to Michael Brown and his crew for recording all the drama.  

Fast and Rocky!

Rocky Contos is an amazing whitewater guide who organized my kayaking trips to Mexico and Peru last year. Here is a great article in Outside magazine about Rocky's quest to become the first person to truly descend the Amazon from the source to the sea. I'll be heading back to Mexico with Rocky soon and have some other adventures in mind with him in the future.

New England Ski Festival, Feb 10-14

Come join me and my guide, Jeff Ulrich, at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine a week from today at the New England Blind and Visually Impaired Ski Festival. We will be giving a clinic on the best method for guiding blind skiers and it's open to anyone. I will also be giving a talk Sunday night on developing a No Barriers mindset.

More on Telluride

Yesterday I mentioned that I was recently in Telluride for a No Barriers fundraiser. This particular event was a Dinner in the Dark, where the meal is served in total darkness...welcome to my world!  We've done a few of these around the country and they are always fun and entertaining for everyone. The dinner in Telluride was almost completely sold out with 107 attendees and we raised over $20,000 net to help fund the upcoming No Barriers Summit!

No Barriers Summit in Telluride!

From August 8th to 11th, the place to be is Telluride, Colorado! That will be the location of the fifth No Barriers Summit. And it promises to be the best yet with hands-on clinics, product demonstrations, outdoor excursions, films, art, music, keynote addresses, leadership exercises and symposia.

Cotopaxi video

Recently, I posted my thoughts about last month's Soldiers To Summits Cotopaxi program. Overall, it was a great success even though not everyone made it to the top of the mountain. We were fortunate to have talented photographer and videographer Didrik Johnck along. And he produced this exceptional 30-minute video about the climb.

S2S Cotopaxi Recap

It has been a month since I returned from Cotopaxi as part of our Soldiers to Summits program and I am still processing this intense and memorable trip. Our S2S expedition left at the beginning of December to climb the second highest peak in Ecuador.

No Barriers Million Dollar Challenge!

Every now and then, I like to challenge myself with big goals, and not always physical ones. When No Barriers merged with Global Explorers in January of last year, I wanted to make sure that the new organization would have staying power. To that end, I committed myself to raising one million dollars for No Barriers. And I'm proud to report I’m almost there!