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
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!
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!
Over 20 years ago Kevin saw photos of one of his good friends photos of a class on Mount Rainier, his first thought was “I want to do that”. Soon he was off to Colorado to do his first 14’ers; taking mountaineering classes from RMI and the American Alpine Institute and eventually summiting Mount Rainier.
In 2001, he summited Mera Peak in Nepal and made an attempt at Mount Everest in 2004. He has climbed all 58 of Colorado's 14,000 ft. peaks even before moving to Colorado. He has returned to the Himalayas twice since preforming trail maintenance and leading a climb of Island Peak (Imja Tse) in 2017. Other summits of note include Mount Baker and el Pico de Orizaba.
Kevin has been volunteer climbing and trekking instructor with the Texas Mountaineers, Colorado Mountain Club and Ouray Ice Park Ice Festival. He is a long-term member of the American Alpine Club, a Lifetime Member the Colorado Mountain Club, a Board Member and the Ice Climbing Director for the CMC Boulder Group, a PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor and completed AIARE Level 2 avalanche training.
He is a Professional Member of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and a certified AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor and completed the AMGA Guide Skills Course.
Other certifications include, NOLS Wilderness First Responder (WFR), NOLS Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Red Cross First Aid, CPR & AED Certifications. He is a former EMT-Paramedic.
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.