"Being around an amazing group of veterans really reminds you of who you are, what values you hold, and what you are truly made of. Add in a crazy, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to climb a mountain and you have gold. I valued this experience, not just for the scenic views and physical challenge, but for the camaraderie I shared with my fellow veterans that I do not get to experience in my daily life." —Soleil Black, US Coast Guard, South Carolina
Sierra Club Outdoors
"[On my trip] we were restoring trails….and it was a huge accomplishment when we were done. I feel that this experience changed my life because now I am more interested in wilderness and want to preserve it. It is going to be up to my generation to preserve it for the future."
Check out his YouTube video about how Chicago ICO and National Outings trip experiences!
—Leopaldo Hernandez, Chicago participant, soon to be leader.
"Sierra Club Military Outdoors is simple and brilliant. Ice climbing for my first time with this group was everything I could ask for. The contracted guide service was more than helpful, knowledgeable and safe. We were even fortunate enough to have one of America’s greatest climbers of Conrad Anker to not only give motivation and climb with us, but coaching and assisting in improving climbing techniques. The selected group of veterans was of different back grounds and experiences. We had a great common denominator throughout us and that was we all were people of strong resilience, military background, a passion for the outdoors and a drive to excel in the path that lay ahead. Using outdoors as your sanctuary is not anything new, throughout the ages this has been a place people of all types have come to relax, think and just find themselves. The fact that Sierra Club is reaching out to the Military as an audience for this is quite awesome. Hyalite Canyon was a beautiful piece of land with great ice climbing and views to be lost in as you gained the elevation on each pitch. I wish to give a thanks to SCMO for such an opportunity to learn a new skill, enjoy and meet new and other veterans who enjoy nature, and a chance for me to get back to nature in it’s rare beauty."
— Army First Sergeant Mike Pickerel