Chase some altitude
The world has a tendency to feel a lot smaller from way up high on an isolated peak. At altitude, everything seems to move slower, and yet faster all at once. From the thrill of straddling a knife-edge ridge, to the satisfaction of feeling a cam set just right, these are the very reasons why the highest reaches of the planet beckon us to come test our fortitude and skill.
Always Choose Adventures believes in the healing power of nature, and the opportunities it provides us with to push ourselves further, beyond our comfort zones, and past the point of mental exhaustion. It is experiences such as this that helps to develop other important life skills. After all, most climbers and mountaineers are no strangers to overcoming adversity, working hard, and never giving up.
Studies have shown the positive effect climbing has had on individuals to improve their self-efficacy and overall health, both mental as well as physical. For many, the technical objectives and allure of the world’s most astounding peaks are a call to action. For others, the sandstone walls of Utah and the fresh smell of wet granite on a project route is what beckons them. But no matter the style, we’re all here to chase some altitude.
What is aca mountaineering?
Always Choose Adventures (a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization) is happy to announce our Mountaineering, Climbing, and Alpinism program!
We know people of all ages and backgrounds are stoked to take the next step forward in their adventures, and for many, the several disciplines of climbing offer the next big challenge. Without the proper tools and know-how, this field can be difficult to break into. ACA is dedicated to helping people overcome these barriers and, in doing so, make climbing more accessible.
Routinely, our ACA Mountaineering team will also be involved with expeditions and trips which you can be a part of and contribute to throughout the journey! Be on the lookout for expeditions and trips our team is currently involved with, as well as the unique opportunities we will be offering to take the leap into bigger things!
altitude chasing for a cause
Helping people on the crag also means helping people get there in the first place. ACA has several other programs geared towards helping people get off their apps and into nature such as our Couch to Trail Series, our monthly socials, and of course our iconic sunset hikes. By working hand-in-hand with our other programs, the ACA Mountaineering team aims to give people the tools to get outside and accomplish whatever goals they can dream up. This is made possible largely by our fundraising efforts, most often backed by ACA members like you!
ACA Mountaineering needs the support of the community as a whole to better develop our program and make it possible to help people chase some altitude. Many of our expeditions, trips, and programs, have some tie to fundraising. It is through these fundraisers that we can continue to grow and expand the program, as well as other factions of ACA. By backing our efforts and becoming a paid ACA member, you could help someone reach new heights in their outdoor career that they would otherwise never have been able to!
Be on the lookout for both ongoing and mission-specific fundraisers that the team is putting on. Also, be sure to use #ChasingAltitude to spread the word about the program! It only takes a small contribution to make a big difference. As we say in mountaineering: One step at a time.
To see current fundraiser campaigns click here!
Who are the altitude chasers?
From ACA Mountaineer Jared Moya. “Here’s my #ChasingAltitude story. I started getting out at a young age, thanks mostly to my old man. I have a vague memory of him teaching me how to prussik up a rope on our backyard tree, and despite being scared of heights for most of my childhood, I guess somewhere down the line I got hooked. In high school I was drastically overweight and very removed from the outdoors, weighing in regularly at close to 250 pounds, and only getting out to the high country once a month if I was lucky. In 2015, my junior year, I was lucky enough to re-discover my fascination with climbing. I started falling in love with the altitude all over again, and by the time I got to college in 2016, I was in the best shape of my life, thanks to the power of the mountains. Just 3 years later I would be lucky enough to summit Rainier where, by chance, I met my friend Zach, who would go on to help form ACA Mountaineering! As an ambassador of ACA, I feel as though it’s my responsibility and duty to help others share these same experiences. I was lucky enough to have an upbringing that provided me with the opportunity to do amazing things; things that I believe everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy. The aim of ACA is to empower people of all walks of life to get out and try new things, mountaineering and climbing among them. As a member of this unique team, I want to help the community feel empowered to pursue whatever outdoors goals lie in the future!
“Those who travel to mountain-tops are half in love with themselves, and half in love with oblivion.”
From ACA Mountaineer Zach Kinzler: Here’s my #ChasingAltitude story. I started adventuring at 4 years old when I began racing motorcycles. I continued to race for the next 20 years of my life, turning professional at 16. After “living the dream,” I became burned out with the politics, drama, and the crazy schedule of racing. I stepped aside from racing and began working in the oilfield as a roughneck trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. It was during this time that I met my beautiful wife, who built a family of 3 amazing children with me. I quit working on the oil rigs and started my remodeling company to spend more time at home with my family. Over the years, I became interested in backpacking which turned into a deep interest in mountaineering. I began honing my craft in mountaineering in 2017, and it quickly became a huge passion for me. As I continued to grow my remodeling company, I started to get weary and frustrated with the politics and greed that I found myself dealing with on a day-to-day basis. The passion and fire for life I once had was slowing being snuffed out. I found ACA through my climbing partner and friend Jared. ACA brought the fire inside me back to life. It made me believe in the good that’s still out there! I had to be part of this amazing organization. I had to be part of spreading joy and knowledge. I had to help people find a passion like I found in mountaineering! I stepped back from my company and still do small jobs here and there but my focus is with ACA and spreading knowledge and joy to as many people as possible!
“Every mountain top is within reach if you just keep climbing.”
Here's Gerry's #ChasingAltitude story: Gerry learned as a young teenager that he was happiest on the rocks and in the high mountains. preferably both at the same time. Now, almost seven decades later, he still pursues his outdoor passions with all the energy that he can muster.
Looking back across a lifetime of grand adventures, he has recently asked himself what adventure would he have sacrificed to put him in a better financial position today. His answer was an immediate and emphatic “None!"
Gerry jokes that he will climb K2 when he is 85. Who knows? He might actually go for it!
Gerry’s favorite adventures are his new route climb on Alaska’s 17,400-foot Mount Foraker’s North Ridge in 1975. He named the ridge Archangel as a remembrance for his fallen climbing partner Gary Lukis.
His traverse of Alaska’s 16,390-foot Mount Blackburn in 1977 is a close second as a favorite adventure.
His second favorite major adventure was his ascent of 16,050-foot Vinson Massif in 1985, Antarctica’s highest peak.
With this climb, Gerry became the second person to have climbed Earth’s seven continent summits.
He likes to joke that he was the first non-millionaire to achieve this feat.