non-profit pushes injured us veterans out of their comfort zone and into the mountains for the 2020 Military to the Mountain Program

The High Fives Foundation’s program, Military to the Mountain, introduces Veterans to the healing effects of skiing and snowboarding.

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The High Fives Foundation in Truckee, Calif., the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department in Reno, Nev., and the Adaptive Training Foundation in Dallas, Texas are teaming up to host a program called Military to the Mountain. 22 injured US Military Veterans will train at their respective facilities for nine weeks preparing them for a week of skiing at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in Lake Tahoe, Calif. from March 15 to March 21, 2020.

We’re dedicated to improving the physical and emotional health of US veterans. 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.

said Roy Tuscany, CEO & Founder of the High Fives Foundation

The Military to the Mountain program is 100% inspired by the High Fives Foundation who focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they happen. The program is fueled by a VA Adaptive Sports Grant, private contributions, corporate sponsors and funds raised through the sale of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows active military pass.

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. 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.

said David Vobora, Founder of the Adaptive Training Foundation

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Prior to the week of skiing and snowboarding, each veteran will go through a nine-week training program (the standard length of military boot camp) at the Adaptive Training Foundation or the City of Reno Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department (Double Diamond Athletic Club and Title Boxing) to ensure they are physically prepared for a week on the mountain. Each workout is geared specifically towards creating strength, balance, and confidence for skiing and snowboarding.

Adaptive skiing/snowboarding will be one of the greatest physical tests some of these athletes will have faced post injury. Our trainers are delivering specific workouts to meet the needs of each athlete’s limitations, preparing them for the rigors of the mountain.

said Jonny Wright, REIGNITE Program Director at the Adaptive Training Center.

All “on-hill” snow sports will be instructed by the professionals. The 22 veterans will be navigating the snow in multiple modalities based on injury. Some participants will be using mono-skis or bi-skis, some will be dawning “stand up” skis, boots and poles provided by K2 Sports and some will be on snowboards provided by the Squaw Valley Demo Shop.

Many of the veterans traveling from the Dallas, Texas area have not skied or snowboarded, and some of them haven’t even seen snow.

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When the veterans pull into Squaw Valley on the first day and see the massive snow covered mountain, some for the first time ever, their smiles say it all. They know right then and there, they are going to conquer the mountain, and that the nine weeks of rigorous training was worth every drop of sweat.

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All winter apparel for the participants in the 2020 program will be provided by the High Fives Foundation through the following sponsors: Phunkshun Wear, Sync Performance, Armada Skis, Arcade Belts, Leki, Smith Optics, vapur, K2, and Darn Tough Vermont Socks. Additional gear will be provided by Charlotte’s Web, New Balance, and bigtruck. Snacks and beverages will be provided by Clif Bar, Red Bull and Nooma. In addition, we would like to give a huge thank you to our supporters at Yeti, Dolan Toyota, Wanderlust Squaw Valley Yoga, Woodward Tahoe, and Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows.

Along with the introduction to adaptive snow sports, the High Fives Foundation has introduced alternative “mountain-style” activities to the program. This year the veterans will spend a day jumping on trampolines, navigating ramps, sledding and boasting large smiles at Woodward Tahoe/Boreal Mountain California. Group yoga at the Wanderlust Yoga Squaw Valley was successfully added to the program schedule in 2015.

When I teach these guys, I walk away feeling like anything in life is possible. The Military to the Mountain Crew is the most inspiring, humorous and brave group of people I have ever met. I am honored to pass along my love for yoga to this amazing group!

said Sherry McConkey, instructor at Wanderlust Yoga Squaw Valley

All are welcome to join the 22 US Veterans, and a Large Honor Guard at Reno International Airport by the Reno ski statue on March 15th. It is the hope that each participant takes something away from the program; whether it’s becoming physically stronger, finding a new love for snow sports, making a lifelong friend or sharing laughter with existing friends.

Military to the Mountain instills hope by promoting health, wellness and positivity. I’m honored to be a part of this program that assists disabled United States Veterans in exceeding expectations of what is thought to be possible.

said Jim Kempner, 2017 Military to the Mountain participant.

ABOUT THE HIGH FIVES FOUNDATION: High Fives focuses on preventing life-changing injuries and provides resources and hope if they happen. It was formed as a way to “pay-it-forward” by the founder from his own recovery to help injured people. The Foundation has expanded to help 300 individuals and veterans from 38 states since its inception in 2009. The High Fives Foundation is a California-based, national 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization. For more information visit www.highfivesfoundation.org

ABOUT ADAPTIVE TRAINING FOUNDATION: Adaptive Training Foundation (ATF) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that focuses not on limitations, but possibilities. Founded by Former NFL linebacker David Vobora and supported through staff and volunteers, the ATF tribe uses physical and motivational techniques to empower people with physical impairments to maximize their capabilities and redefine their futures.

ABOUT THE CITY OF RENO: The City of Reno government’s mission is dedicated to creating a community that people are proud to call home. In order to achieve that purpose, the Reno City Council has established three overarching goals — Ensure Financial Stability, Provide Public Safety and Reduce Debt — and several supporting priorities. To learn more about the City of Reno, visit Reno.gov or call 775- 334-INFO (4636).