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Bombardier Blood!

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Bombardier Blood!

While I was starting my trek to Everest Basecamp Patrick James Lynch, my good friend and the director of our documentary, headed to the Hemophilia Federation of America's Annual Meeting. We just spent the week before running around Kathmandu having so many powerful experiences it could fill a lifetime. I headed out on the biggest endeavor of my lifetime and Patrick had about 5 days to work with the Believe team to edit this video together before he presented at a huge annual meeting. I can't imagine how stressful that was!

This was this first time the title Bombardier Blood would be announced to the public and honestly I was nervous about it and pretty happy I was distracted elsewhere. I was initially a little hesitant about the title, I didn't really want my name in the title. It seemed a little egotistical and made the documentary about me and not completely about the story. I told Patrick my concerns and then he explained his reasons for picking the title. Of course the blood references makes sense with the hemophilia but he really sold me when he reminded me that my uncle said it the first day of filming.

We were sitting on a wooden fence with Red Rocks in the background. It was a sunny day and I loved that we got to share this moment together. Uncle Dave is one of the main reasons I got into climbing and he always encouraged me to chase these dreams. After hearing that reason I was sold.

We were about a week into the trek when HFA started. I wanted to hear Patrick's talk about our incredible experience and see the reaction to the clip I hadn't seen yet. I was excited to finally watch it but.....we were on the trek to Everest and although we had some internet, downloading any video was out of the question. I saw the traction on facebook and everyone seemed to enjoy it which made me happy but I was looking forward to watching it.

It wasn't able to do that until I had summited the mountain and returned home. I almost forgot about it honestly until Jess brought it up. I was so nervous to watch it. I don't particularly like watching myself in videos, it feels so strange but I wanted to see Patricks work. I was blown away. The shots they were able to put together and the emotion the captured was powerful. I'm so glad we were able to partner together and I can't wait to see the entire film!

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BloodStream Podcast

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BloodStream Podcast

On my way back to Colorado from Alaska Hemophilia Camp I had a quick stop over in St. Louis. And by quick I mean about 10 hours total! My friend Patrick James Lynch had invited my to take part in Powering Through, which is a nationwide live speaker series for and about the bleeding disorders community. The event went great and I had a blast sharing my story which you can watch below.

After the event Patrick had asked me if I wanted to be interviewed for his podcast. Having recently become a podcast addict I thought it would be great to take part. We had a great conversation and despite a lack of sleep I think it went great! You can watch the podcast by clicking the photo below or clicking here!

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From Fun in the Sun to Camping in Alaska: June Recap

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From Fun in the Sun to Camping in Alaska: June Recap

June has been absolutely amazing! I haven't posted much from a lack of wifi and lack of time but I do want to share a little recap of an amazing month! Belize has been on our calendar for a long time. My good friend Brandon, who I've known since I was eight, and his awesome fiancé Kait decided to do the whole destination wedding thing and Jess and I were all for it. we headed down a couple days early to check out some sites and meet the rest of the crew there.

Our first day was spent cruising up a river on a speedboat and checking out wildlife. We saw crocodiles, iguanas and even got to feed a spider monkey named Mickey! If that wasn't cool enough we stopped at the amazing Mayan ruins of Lamanai. Our tour guide explained the significance of the city, the uses of the temples and a little about the Mayan culture. It was fascinating to think how old the ruins were and how many people lived there. The city was over ten miles long with an estimated 40-60,000 people living there! Only a tiny fraction has been unearthed but every jungle covered hill hides something amazing. It was a fascinating place and I loved visiting the site.

The boat ride back to the car was not nearly as much fun as the trip out. A huge thunderstorm hit and the rain felt like needles hitting our face! We did our best to protect ourselves but it was uncomfortable and we got soaked! It was an interesting end to a really fun day!

The rest of the crew was arriving in Belize that next day so we just decided to stroll around Belize City and a few museums before meeting them. It was an interesting day and the Mayan museum was fun but the overall feel of Belize City wasn't great. Apparently they have a very high crime rate in the city and you can feel that tension. We felt safe and almost everyone was incredibly friendly but the feel was strange. We jumped to the airport to meet the rest of the crew and then took a water taxi out to Ambergris Caye, where we would be staying the next five nights.

The houses Brandon and Kait rented were amazing! The first night was spent drinking beer and relaxing. We got up the next day and headed out to for an all day boat ride and my first SCUBA dive in the ocean. I was really nervous. I'm not as comfortable in the water as Jess but once we dove in, it was amazing! We stayed at around 40ft the first dive and saw a manatee, a sea turtle, a moray eel and more fish than I could imagine. I was hooked. We jumped back on the boat and headed to Shark Ray Alley where you could jump in and swim with nurse sharks and sting rays. The sharks and rays are so comfortable with people that they swim right next to you and we all touched the sharks. It was a pretty wild experience. I do have to say that as I reached for the shark I thought to myself, "As a bleeder, should I really pet a shark?" Obviously this passed quickly and I did.

The next day we got another dive in and went deeper. I wasn't nervous about the dive at all but the surface water was super rough. I actually thought about bailing on the dive except then I would have to sit on the boat the whole time which sounded worse. Once in the water everything was awesome! We swam through a narrow passage with coral walls on each side and it was absolutely breathtaking. After the dive we meet some of the other party members and snorkeled around before heading back.

The wedding day started out great. The divers in the group decided we had enough time to get in a dive before the wedding. It was another great dive and at one point a nurse shark same up between my legs! It was a crazy experience! We headed back to the house and got ready for the big day. We gathered on the beach outside the house for the most beautiful wedding I have seen. It was so great to see my friend so happy and taking such a cool step in life. Thats when things went downhill for me. There had been a stomach bug going around and I thought I escaped it. I felt great all day until dinner after the wedding. Something just felt wrong. Over the next day and a half I have never felt so terrible or been as sick. For everyones sake I won't go into details. It was a disappointing way end a great trip but we still had a blast!

After that great adventure I came home for a day and then headed out to Alaska for Camp Frozen Chozen. This year I was asked to help with the CIT (counselor-in-training) training that took place before camp. We camped for two nights and did some really amazing training activities. The CIT's setup camp, had a chili cook-off, hiked a glacier, saw a bear and really bonded. It was amazing to see these young people grow so much in a short weekend. After the weekend we headed to the main camp. I have always had fun at Alaska's Hemophilia Camp but this year was even better that usual. Besides struggling to paddle a "raft" built by my cabin out of a kick board, milk jugs, pool noodles and duck tape I had a blast! My cabin was full of great kids that teach me more about life than I can ever teach them. I can't wait to see what's in store next year and see my Alaska family again!

My first dive in the ocean was amazing! We saw a manatee, eel, a turtle and more fish than I could believe. I wish my underwater video skills were a bit better but here is a glimpse of our dive!

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Mt. Rainier Status Update

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Mt. Rainier Status Update

Here is a quick update about our attempt to climb Mt. Rainier. Not what we we're hoping but I believe that it's the right decision.

Quick update on the status of our Mt. Rainier climb.

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First Hike in 3 weeks! Rainier here we come!

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First Hike in 3 weeks! Rainier here we come!

This past weekend was supposed to be filled with some major Mt. Rainier training but Mother Nature had others plans. Colorado was hit by a storm that dumped snow in the mountains and even some in Denver. Our plan was to climb a couloir, a steep narrow gully on a mountain, but with all the fresh snow, avalanche danger was a bit too high for us to feel comfortable. 

I was disappointed but it might have been a blessing in disguise. My leg wasn't ready for a big climb. I just started walking comfortably earlier in the week so pushing it now could've been bad. Instead of our big climb I was determined to at least get outside. Despite some very wet snow coming down we had a great hike at Lost Creek. 

It's amazing what being in nature does for me. Although I was slow and hesitant with my movement I was excited to be outside in nature and even more determined to get my leg healed and ready to do more! I'm hoping to get some more hikes in this week and I look forward to sharing it with you all soon!

On Saturday I was able to hike for the first time since my hamstring injury and bleed. It was an easy hike which was a great starting point for healing my leg. This hike was not only a great place to start to improve my physical health but also mentally.

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Thoughts on Hemophilia; The Hard Times

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Thoughts on Hemophilia; The Hard Times

The last few weeks have been tough for me. Recovering from an injury and bleed have a huge impact on my mental health. I wasn't quite sure how to share my feelings in a blog post so I wanted to share it through this video. It's easy to share the successes we have with hemophilia but the reality is that it's not always easy, sometimes it sucks. 

Just wanted to share a few thoughts about my experiences with hemophilia. I've been struggling with an injury and bleed lately and wanted to share the tough moments, mentally and physically that come with hemophilia.

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Bleeding Disorder Awareness Month

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Bleeding Disorder Awareness Month

March was an incredibly special month for our community. This year Congress officially recognized March as Bleeding Disorder Awareness Month and the National Hemophilia Foundation kicked off the Red Tie Challenge to spread awareness. By wearing the red tie and posting and sharing photos they hoped to educate people about bleeding disorders including hemophilia.

To do our part for the Red Tie Challenge I decided to wear my red tie in one of my favorite places, the mountains! I hit up the slopes with my parents and we all decided to take turns rocking the red tie down the slopes! We had a blast and I'm sure we turned some heads with the tie flapping around our necks as we flew down the runs. It was an amazing day and I was happy to participate in the challenge.

The CEO of the National Hemophilia Foundation Val Bias said it best, "Since blood ties—embodied in the color red and the tie—are what bind our community together, the red tie is our new symbol. The color red also conveys strength, leadership, courage, determination and, above all, love—qualities and emotions that define our community." I couldn't agree more with this sentiment. As I have become more and more involved in this amazing community as see all those traits on a daily basis. It inspires me and has shaped me into the man I am today. 

 

In honor of Bleeding Disorder Awareness Month my family took part in the Red Tie Challenge on the slopes. Here is a video of my dad rocking the red tie!

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One Year Since Carstensz Pyramid!

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One Year Since Carstensz Pyramid!

I can't believe it's already been a year since I summited Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, Indonesia. This mountain was a fairly technical climb as you can tell from the video. From our basecamp we climb the nearly vertical peak and traversed the ridge line. The views were breathtaking as were some of the obstacles along the summit ridge!  

 

Shot at basecamp showing the route up Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, Indonesia. This is the highest peak on the Australasia continent and my fifth summit in the Seven Summits Quest!

The most difficult was the Tyrolean Traverse, (video below). I can't post the video of crossing the traverse on the way to the summit because I swear ALOT but here is a clip of me coming back down! This was a huge mental and physical challenge and I'm glad I could overcome it!

 

The Tyrolean Traverse is located at the start of the summit ridge on Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, Indonesia. Although very safe it's still freaky!! It's hard to convince yourself that the wires will hold you over the thousand foot drop!

The mountain was spectacular but the most memorable part of the trip was trekking out through the jungles of Papua. We had local porters that helped carrying our gear and show us the way through the jungle. It was incredible to spend time with them in such an untouched wilderness! I have loved all the mountains I have climbed but Carstensz and Papua were unique and special!

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#playitsmart:<br>Aconcagua Summit Push 2013

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#playitsmart:
Aconcagua Summit Push 2013

Two clips from our summit push on Aconcagua. The clear day gave us spectacular views and these videos really give great perspective of the terrain on the mountain! Thanks Koky Castañeda for shooting this clips!

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#playitsmart: <br>Summit of Aconcagua

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#playitsmart:
Summit of Aconcagua

View from the summit of the highest mountain in South America. This was my second peak in the Seven Summits Quest and an amazing experience. I infused at my own personal record of 17,000ft on this trip!

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