Why You Should Climb A Mountain AND Change Someone's Life

Wouldn’t it be nice if your next summit had a tangible impact on the world?

By: Steven Reinhold

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Why did you climb your last mountain? This may be a difficult question for you to answer. Was it for the view? Was it for a mix of adrenaline and endorphins? Was it for camaraderie or was it for solitude? Were you soul searching somewhere wild or just visiting your happy place?

In the adventure world, we fabricate all kinds of excuses to justify our summits but none of them really make sense. Most of us just climb to the top, celebrate, post an epic summit selfie, then it’s on to the next one. 

If you’re looking to bring some meaning to your next trip, I have good news. You can be the change you wish to see in the world by making your next adventure a Summit for Someone event. Here are the top five reasons why your next summit should be a Summit for Someone!

1. Change A Life

When you climb with the Summit for Someone program your climbing/fundraising efforts will help Big City Mountaineers (BCM) take urban youth on wilderness mentoring trips! “BCM Kids” generally come from impoverished backgrounds and are severely under-served when it comes to outdoor opportunities. The funds you raise allow BCM to embark on week long wilderness mentoring expeditions across the country. Participants on these trips learn critical life-skills from adult mentors which fundamentally and positively alter the path of their existence.

2. Get the Gear

Big City Mountaineers will provide an awesome gear package for your climb. For example, if you sign up for the Boulder Traverse you’ll get a day pack from Thule and custom BCM logo swag! You’ll also get a fleece from Columbia, socks from Smartwool, a pair of gloves from Polar Tech and a lunch kit from Light My Fire. Not only will you receive this great gear from BCM, but you also earn the right to binge on the gear you’ve been dreaming of. Need a new pair of boots or a top of the line sleeping bag? Go ahead and buy them both! After all, you are climbing for charity and what significant other or accountant is going to argue with that?

Photo: Nick Lake

3. Train, Train, Train

Having a mountain to train for is like dangling the proverbial carrot on a stick in front of you. Focusing on your “carrot” – insert the mountain of your choice – really amps up your training regimen by chasing a clear goal. Each day you will think of your mountain and how you can better yourself – mentally and physically – for the climb. Train a little each day and by the time your climb comes along you’ll find yourself in pretty good shape. In fact, it’s highly likely that you will find yourself in the best shape of your life after your summit for someone climb.

4. Climb With the Pros

The summit for someone program offers some unique opportunities to rub elbows with industry insiders. Big outdoor names like Ed Viesturs, Cedar Wright, Eric Larsen and Samuel Elias have joined summit for someone climbs in the past. If you sign up for one of our three events sponsored by Backpacker Magazine this summer you’ll get the chance to meet their editing staff. And, as an added bonus, not only will you get to climb with them but you’ll get the chance to party with them at Backpacker’s headquarters after each event!

5. Have Your Own Peak Experience

Participating in a summit for someone climb will have a deep and resounding impact on your life. Through fundraising you will learn the intricacies of the business world. Through training you will develop a resiliency and confidence which will benefit you in all of your future endeavors. By climbing a peak to help others you will be rewarded with a peak experience like no other. Think of the high you normally get while on a summit and imagine that multiplied exponentially by adding a givers high to the equation!

Slight warning; the summit for someone program can be highly addictive! This summer I will be joining the Longs Peak climb and guiding the Boulder Traverse. They will be my 5th and 6th summit for someone events, respectively. A continual participation in the program has enriched my life beyond my wildest dreams. I highly encourage you to join me on one of these trips and make your next summit a summit for someone!

Cover photo: Ryan Mazure

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.