Tim and Charles dodge danger for the kids

Tim and Charles get set for their fundraising adventure

They’ve been warned! Grizzly and black bear activity is expected throughout the park and due to heavy winter snows, avalanche warnings apply across the high country and mountain passes.

So why would two inexperienced mountaineers be heading off to climb a peak in those conditions?

Adventure traveller and Intrepidite, Tim Melching tells us more…

“Climbing to 4270 meters (14,000 feet) on trails leading to snow and ice-covered rock and summiting the tallest point in The Grand Teton National Park in the US is no small feat. Add in the bear activity, avalanche warnings and lack of experience and it’s downright dangerous. But fortunately with the guidance of the charity challenge ‘Climbing for Kids’, a project of Bay Area Wilderness Training (BAWT) it is achievable!

My friend, Charles Knowlton, from Intrepid’s US office, and I have travelled together many times. We’ve trekked around Machu Picchu in Peru, Torres del Paine in Patagonia, numerous Great Walks in New Zealand, travelled in Europe; both guided tours from Alaska, through Canada and the United States; and we’ve each been to the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Along the way we’ve encouraged and sometimes dared each other to go white water rafting, horseback riding, hang-gliding, skydiving, bungee jumping… you name it!

During our travels we’ve visited and spent time at various local schools, orphanages and charity run projects, which have inspired us! On our last ski trip together, we promised that on our next adventure we would give something back. We both wanted to try our hand at a new experience, mountaineering, and so when we learnt about BAWT’s mountain challenges, our next adventure was born!

The purpose is to raise money for BAWT, an organisation that provides at-risk and underprivileged children from urban neighbourhoods in the Bay Area (San Francisco and Oakland) with the opportunity to experience the great outdoors. For every US$1,000 raised for BAWT, on average 17 kids get to enjoy the wilderness with a positive role model and experienced guide.

Charles and I understand the incredible power of nature to transform lives.

Through our climb we are aiming to raise enough money so that at least 170 kids have the special opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors – something that just might change their lives forever.

So far we have raised over AU$5,000, which Intrepid Travel is matching to make a charitable contribution of AU$10,000 plus. But we don’t want to stop there! Will you help us? We look forward to successfully completing this challenge and thank-you for your generous support in helping us change the lives of at-risk youth.”

If you’d like to help support Charles and Tim’s fabulous ‘Climbing for Kids!’ project please visit their project page with The Intrepid Foundation. All donations via The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$400,000 in each financial year and a maximum of AU$5,000 per donor in each financial year.

Bay Area Wilderness Training is a regular Community Project of The Intrepid Foundation.

Photo © Tim Melching and Charles Knowlton

About the author

Jane Crouch - Jane is a responsible business guru who writes about all aspects of how travel can bring positive environmental, social and economic benefits. Informed through travel on seven continents, leading Intrepid trips through SE Asia, work in outdoor education, energy conservation, international development, philanthropy and climate change action, plus a big love of walking, mountains and world music.

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