The High Fives Foundation teamed up with the Adaptive Training Foundation and the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department, to host the 2017 Military to the Mountain Program!
22 injured US Military Veterans (15 from the Dallas area and seven from the Reno area) were trained at their respective facilities for nine weeks, preparing them for a week of skiing at Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, Calif. from April 3 to April 9, 2017. The Veterans were instructed by Achieve Tahoe adaptive ski program.
The Military to the Mountain Program is funded by corporate and individual contributions, and remains sustainable from the sale of the $25 Squaw Valley active duty military season pass. All proceeds support Military to the Mountain, and in 2016 Squaw Valley | Alpine Meadows made a contribution of over $150,000 to the program to ensure its’ success in 2017.
Please enjoy the 4 newest videos from the High Fives Foundation x Generikal Design explaining the 2017 Military to Mountain program, below.
In 2014, at a check presentation in Dallas, Tex., Executive Director of the High Fives Foundation Roy Tuscany was introduced to David Vobora from the Adaptive Training Foundation and retired US Marine Corporal Jacob Schick. Each having a passion for hard work and drive, Vobora and Tuscany discussed ways the two organizations could work together. The next year, Marine to the Mountain was born with Corporal Schick as the programs sole participant.
“The goal of the program is to offer wounded war-fighters an opportunity to tap back into their physicality by pushing through mental and physical barriers,” said Vobora, Founder and CEO of the Adaptive Training Foundation. “Experiencing the mountains for the first time post-injury redefines their limits and ignites new passion to take ridge lines they no longer thought were possible.”
This marks the third year for the program, and through visibility around social media, print and tv/video, Military to the Mountain has grown from one Veteran (Schick) in 2015, to 10 in 2016, to 22 in 2017. The consistent growth of the program is a direct reflection of the positive impact that it has on the lives of the injured US Veterans participating in Military to the Mountain.
Participating in the Military to the Mountain Program for the second year, was retired Army Specialist Lawrence Green.
In 2015, Green woke up in the hospital after a catastrophic motorcycle accident, and the first thing he asked was for help moving his legs. That’s when his father had to tell him that his legs were gone – amputated above the knees while he was in a coma.
Experiencing his 1-year “Alive Day” at last years’ program, everyone was incredibly impressed by the ease in which Green picked up mono-skiing. He was an obvious choice for the 2017 Military to the Mountain Program, and this year was more about Green adding to the infectious comradery of the group, and fine-tuning his skills.
“As you’re going down the hill and someone passes you on the lift, they’re hootin’ and hollerin’, and you get to holler back,” boasted Green. “We were having such a blast, it’s such a family, it’s amazing!”
Along with the addition of injured US Veterans to the program, the 2017 Military to the Mountain program joined forces with the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department and the Double Diamond Athletic Club in Reno, NV. Prior to the program, Therapeutic Recreation Specialists for the City, April Wolfe and Tony Goulet reached out to the Reno Area Veteran population and selected seven enthusiastic individuals to participate in the program.
“The City of Reno is stoked to be a part of this inspiring program,” said Wolfe, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. “The motivated group of Veterans put the work in and supported each other to get physically and mentally prepared for an epic week on snow.”
Included in the seven Reno Military to the Mountain participants was retired Arkansas National Guard Scout Sniper and Team Leader, Tyler Rollins.
Rollins, from Bearden, Ark. was nine and a half miles through a 10-mile Tough Mudder race in Okemah, Oklahoma, when he tried to slide through an obstacle. A few moments later, Rollins found himself stuck face down in water, unable to move. When he was extracted from the water and taken to a local hospital, Rollins was told that he had suffered a cervical spinal cord injury, and that he would be in a wheelchair.
Rollins grew up playing sports, it was engrained in his DNA, and he was an obvious selection to be a first-time participant in the Military to the Mountain Program.
“The first day of skiing was more about learning the ski and weight shifts more than anything,” said Rollins. “In the following days, I got to open it up off of the Meadows lift and it was really cool to experience speed like that again.”
“We’re dedicated to improving the physical and emotional health of US Veterans,” said Roy Tuscany, Executive Director of the High Fives Foundation. “It’s been an extremely rewarding opportunity to bring all of these organizations together to honor these men and women who have been injured serving our country.”
Looking forward to growing the program, the High Fives Foundation is incredibly excited to work with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the Adaptive Training Foundation, the City of Reno and Achieve Tahoe to make Military to the Mountain Program bigger and better. The 2018 program will include 22 Veterans from Reno, Nev. and Dallas, Tex. They will return to the slopes, March 11-17, 2018.