A premature birth alongside multiple birth defects (Tracheoesophageal fistula) is how her story began. A story of being born to overcome life’s adversities and what it means to fight to live. Just a few hours after she was born – she endured major surgery and in the process had to be resuscitated 13 times. Because of a challenging beginning, she now endures vocal cord dysfunction, severe asthma, and COPD which come with their own set of unique challenges in the form of frequent and multiple respiratory infections. During her childhood – doctors instructed Chantelle’s parents to keep her indoors as much as possible; she was a bubble child. Never being able to participate in camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing, exploring or adventures left a void her a young Chantelle that would only be filled later in her life.
Fast forward to Chantelle’s adulthood and she still continues to overcome life’s adversities in the form of continued and persistent health issues, addiction, and depression. Desperate to break free from the ties that bind her to a life where she felt it served no purpose knowing deep down she could do so much more; she began to always choose adventures which began her new journey. She began to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to tackle almost anything she missed out on and in the process was blessed with meeting hundreds of kind, adventurous souls who've changed her world as she knows it.
Her favorite adventures include but aren’t limited to camping, hiking, volunteering, and backpacking.
Chantelle founded Always Choose Adventures to remind people who may be suffering from various physical or mental conditions that ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!
BOARD MEMBER & ACA MOUNTAINEERING TEAM
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.
Why He Always Chooses Adventures:
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 is happy to promote Always Choose Adventures with gusto, since with today’s global environmental issues, we need to understand and bond with raw nature more than ever before.
Her Favorite adventures are when her husband and her pack up the dogs in the Jeep and just go. They head for the mountains and look for dirt roads. The best part is when you stumble upon a ridiculous camp site with an amazing view. She absolutely loves camping. Day hikes would be next on the list and really just being outside and listening to the sounds of nature. She is looking forward to learning more about rock climbing this year and fine tuning that skill.
Why She Always Chooses Adventures:
After moving to Colorado from Michigan and growing up in Florida, she realized all the things she was missing out on. Finding the mountains was like finding religion. Since that 1st time rock climbing in Golden she's been hooked. The outdoors is like therapy and helps feel more connected to the Earth. We are all flowers just trying to find the sun!