Ten international members of the We Are Invictus community complete an incredible adventure in the wilds of Colorado, funded by the Invictus Games Foundation.
An Invictus Endeavour grant enabled the group to explore the Great Sand Dunes National Park and summit the Mount Herard, led by the team at Dunes LLC.
This was a unique mountaineering expedition through Southern Colorado, that saw the team trek from alpine wilderness to sandy desert utilising only the kit they could carry for survival. One of the primary goals of this Adventure was to immerse the team in the way of life of the Wild West and to teach them how live in nature and off the local ecosystem.
Scotty Darroch, a Team UK competitor at the Invictus Games London 2014 and Orlando 2016, took part in the Adventure as he loves to hike in the wilderness and wanted to reconnect with the Invictus community.
The Invictus Games Foundation funds Adventures and Challenges beyond the Games as part of its Invictus Endeavour granting programme. This enables international wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans to access opportunities to use sports and activities as part of their recovery journey, all accessed via a free digital community at www.WeAreInvictus.co.uk
This Colorado Adventure started with a challenging hike through the Medano pass to establish base camp at the foot of Mount Herard. The team was battling not just the elements of extreme heat and bracing winds but also the substantial increase in elevation, as they worked their way closer to Mount Herard, which sits over 4,000m above sea level.
Base camp was established at approx. 2,500m with the summit taking the team through incredible scenery and challenging rocky terrain.
The view atop Mount Herard was unforgettable with many of members of the team taking the time to call their loved ones (as they received some pretty good data coverage at the top) and some even shed a few tears.
Images from the Wild West - Invictus Adventure: From Sand Dunes to Summiting Mt Herard
After the summitting of the mountain, the team’s attention turned to the challenging task of crossing the Great Sand Dunes National Park, the tallest Sand Dunes in North America.
This adventure tested the limits of the team members physical fitness but also their mental fitness, while the scenery was beautiful, it was also harsh. The task of climbing even the smallest sand dune proved challenging, as their feet would continuously sink into the loose fine sand and they had to fight to gain every inch of ground. However, at the end of the trek across the Dunes, they were treated to one of the most incredible sunsets available on the planet.
We want to give a big congratulations to the members of the team for conquering this challenging adventure:
David ‘Scotty’ Darroch - UK
Isabelle Dauvert - FRA
Katharine Page - UK
Lavinia Goddard - UK
Mark Vause-Jones - UK
Mattia Dal Pastro - ITA
Michiel van Achthoven - NED
Victoria Wales - UK
Peter Wilson - UK
Robert Dolson - CAN