Field Trip with First Descents
Smiles. That is all I saw the whole time I was photographing this event. That's what you are guaranteed to get when you are around the First Descents crew and campers.
Yeti, Cody and I were honored to be invited to take a road trip to Estes Park on Labor Day to see what FD was all about. We pulled up to this amazing cabin in the woods to find a room full of happy people. Not just people, but wonderful people, most of whom are a fighter or survivor of cancer. First Descents is a Denver based non-profit whose mission is to "offer young adult cancer fighters and survivors a free outdoor adventure experience designed to empower them to climb, paddle and surf beyond their diagnosis, defy their cancer, reclaim their lives and connect with others doing the same." Their programs are offered all over the country and are anywhere from 1 day to 1 week long. Young adults are eligible regardless of their physical challenges, diagnosis or prognosis.
After a delightful breakfast, we headed out to the Colorado Mountain School to get started. Before any climbing gear was distributed, we got to hear everyone's nicknames, how they got it and also learn something that no one really knows about them. What a great way to get to know people! After that, we grabbed our gear and headed out. It was only a short drive to Mary's Lake where we pulled off the road, walked a couple hundred feet and got ready for some climbing!
For many folks, this was their first time ever to climb. The CMS crew went over the ins and outs of climbing and belaying. I learned a lot from them, and so did my son Cody! His favorite part was knowing that the rope they were using could hold up to 1,000lbs!
Steve, Cody and I had fun meeting the group, hearing their stories and cheering for them while they climbed! We want to take this opportunity to thank Outside Media for helping us get in contact with FD. Also, big thanks to First Descents and The Colorado Mountain School for letting us tag a long! This amazing week long climbing event was made possible through the generous support of REVO Sunglasses. Here are some photos from the day!
"I cheated on my fears, broke up with my doubts, got engaged to my faith and now I'm marrying my dreams" One of many inspirational quotes on the breakfast table at First Descents.
Entering CMS to grab gear for the day!
"21", a first time climber, gets one on one instruction from CMS staff.
"PAHStA" makes it to the top and gives a wave!
The group high fives after a successful climb!
For more info on First Descents, check out their website here!