**Photos available after the climb upon request**
SEATTLE – On September 6th, 2013, Sierra Club Outdoors, in partnership with Our Wild America and in support of the local Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers Campaign will lead a group of military veterans to summit Mt. Olympus and the Bailey Range Traverse in western Washington, an area of the Olympic Peninsula offering unparalleled views, unique wildlife and soaring summits.
Part of the Sierra Club’s “Veteran’s Climbing Series,” every year on September 11th since 2010 the Sierra Club has led a group of veterans to summit at national parks around the country, including the Grand Tetons (Wyoming), Long Peaks (Colorado), Mt. Washington (New Hampshire) and Mt. Shuksan (Washington). This year, three veterans representing several branches of the military will spend seven days rediscovering the beauty of our country’s open spaces and wild places on the Olympic Peninsula.
“An outlet for the warrior spirit, these climbs are an opportunity to spend time outdoors, celebrate our public lands and honor those who risk their lives defending our country," said Former Army Infantry Major and Sierra Club Military and Community Recreation Organizer Joshua Brandon. “Sierra Club Outdoors is committed to creating opportunities for those who served our country to experience the freedom of the land they defended.”
“We are humbled, honored and deeply grateful to these veterans, both for their proud service to our country and also for their interest in highlighting the national treasure that is the Olympic Peninsula,” said Connie Gallant, Wild Olympics Campaign Chair. “Our Wild Olympic Mountains are a crown jewel in our natural heritage that deserve permanent protection for present and future generations of Americans. Our wilderness, rivers, and wildlife are priceless assets worth defending.“
The Quilcene, WA- based Wild Olympics Campaign is a coalition of conservation and outdoor recreation groups working to permanently protect the Olympic Peninsula’s towering ancient forests, free-flowing rivers and stunning scenery for future generations through new Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River safeguards. More than 450 local businesses, elected officials, faith leaders and user groups have endorsed the campaign, including over 75 climbing, hunting, fishing, biking, and recreation groups and outdoor businesses calling for permanent protection of our great outdoors.
Sportsmen, outdoor enthusiasts and veterans alike share a desire for permanent protection of the Olympic Peninsula’s natural treasures, waterways, scenic backcountry and recreational access on Olympic National Forest.
Also part of the Sierra Club’s “Veteran’s Climbing Series,” Veterans Expeditions will lead an additional six veterans on a climb in the North Cascades.
About the Sierra Club
The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.