Two teenage adventurers are planning a couple of ambitious summer expeditions that will allow them to not only pursue their outdoor passions but also raise funds for a great cause. The young men are first planning an epic human-powered excursion, which they’ll then follow-up with a classic mountaineering experience as they seek to give back by having a positive impact on the lives of other young people.
18-year old Ryan Wichelns and his 17-year old friend Gabe Messercola will start their summer with a three-week long traverse of Adirondack State Park in Upstate New York. That adventure will get under way on June 8 as Ryan and Gabe attempt to cover 200+ miles (320+ km) of rugged backcountry wilderness on foot, bike and kayak. Traveling south to north, they’ll follow a route of their own design that cuts through the heart of the Adirondack region, a place that has been instrumental in growing their love for the outdoors.
Once they’ve wrapped up their traverse, the boys will then head west in early August to climb Mt. Rainier, the 14,411-foot (4392 meter) volcanic peak located in the state of Washington. Rainier is amongst the most popular mountains in the U.S. to climb and it will mark Ryan and Gabe’s first foray into high-altitude mountaineering – something that they wish to pursue more fully in the years ahead. Rainier is a classic mountain trek and truly a great challenge following their traverse.
As mentioned, the duo aren’t just undertaking these summer adventures just for their own enjoyment. They are also working to raise funds for the Big City Mountaineers, a non-proft that I’ve written about on multiple occasions in the past. BCM is an organization that looks to enrich the lives of at-risk urban youth by providing them the opportunity to experience true wilderness adventures, something that they are not normally exposed to in their daily lives. I’ve always been a fan of BCM’s mission and their Summit For Someone program is one of my favorite fundraising events.
You can follow Ryan and Gabe on their two adventures at their website AdirondackTraverse.org. Good luck guys and thanks for sharing your story with us!
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