This January 17, 2016 business leaders and nine Canadian soldiers and veterans will battle the elements to climb to the summit of Vinson Massif in Antarctica in an effort to raise awareness for veterans and military families. But before they can battle the harsh environments the team headed to Canmore, Alberta for a four-day training camp.
The training camp, located in the Columbia Icefield, took place August 13 to August 18 and was meant to prepare the expedition team for the rough climb ahead of them. Some of the skills the participants must learn before going on their journey includes learning sled rigging and pulling, ascending fixed ropes and many more ice climbing skills to help on their journey.
The expedition team successfully summited Boundary Peak at approximately 3,000 meters through the raining and almost freezing weather. It also served as a bonding experience for the real challenge ahead.
“The training camp was an opportunity for these incredible individuals to become a team – and they succeeded! The soldier and civilian participants really bonded and got to know each other throughout the four-day training camp. For some, this was the first time that they had reached the summit of any mountain, and an adventure for all,” explained Kristina Schreiber, director of expeditions and events at True Patriot Love.
The climb to Vinson Massif, sponsored by True Patriot Love, is the highest peak in Antarctica and one of the world’s Seven Summits. The climb can take anywhere from seven to eight days. The team will begin their journey in late December when they make final preparations in Punta Arenas, Chile.
The expeditions give members of the private sector a chance to understand military life better.
“I have learned more from our veterans on these expeditions about bravery, patriotism, service, and a commitment to leaving no one behind than from any activity I have ever undertaken. Our vets are truly inspirational,” noted Timothy Hodgson, Managing Partner at Alignvest Management Corporation and TPL Expedition Co-Chair and participant in the Himalayas, North Pole, and Antarctica Expeditions.
Some other notable business leaders and civilians on the expedition include Heather Moyse a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Andy Chisholm Advisory Director Officer of Goldman Sachs, Michael Tait co-founder of SHOP.ca and many more.
True Patriot love is a national fundraising organizing with a mission to raise awareness for the Canadian Armed Forces and their families. As an umbrella organization, True Patriot love directs funds in to other organizations including Military Family Resource Centers across Canada. The organization hosts symposia internationally and expeditions to raise awareness. Last year’s expedition to the North Pole raised $2 million for military mental health programs.