We climbed Wheeled Peak on our three-backpacking trip to find out what we were made of. It turns out we are made of tears and laughter, dancing and determination, strength and acts of kindness.
It was a long, tough climb to 13,170 feet (5 miles one way) to the highest point in New Mexico. When the going got tough for one camper in our party, we called a group meeting to talk about how we could support one another to get there. One friend stepped forward to carry their shared backpack. We gave another permission to play his music so he could dance us up the mountain, which was cheering for all. The friendship and camaraderie of a third helped both of them to feel supported and able to carry on.
I stayed in the back with the slower campers. We took lots of breaks, enjoyed the scenery, the rainbow of wildflowers, and saw a whole family of big horned sheep. The going was hard but steady. After multiple (disappointing) ‘false summits’, we finally made it to Wheeler Peak, the top of New Mexico!
This kind of experience can’t be measured in feet and miles however, but sweat, tears, and gumption.
The memories made, the friendships gained, and the confidence that comes with overcoming hardship to achieve the seemingly impossible is what will stick with these kids as they move back into their daily lives.
I am so proud of all the Mountain (climbing) Kids! for working hard and supporting each other to reach this incredible goal. – Katie
What an impressive week! Our courageous campers hiked, ran, skipped, and occasionally danced their way to the top of Wheeler Peak, the highest point in New Mexico, after a serious amount of preparation. Their physical capabilities and positive mental attitudes were truly impressive. We rounded the week off with some kayaking at Santa Cruz Lake. Nothing beats gliding around on cool, calm water after spending the week aiming to summit the next grand peak! – Max