In the News: Combat-wounded vets successfully climb one of world’s highest mountains

In the News: Combat-wounded vets successfully climb one of world’s highest mountains

fox13-after-aconcagua-piece-video-imageTARPON SPRINGS (FOX 13) –

A special team of wounded veterans has notched another achievement.

Members of the Combat Wounded Veterans Challenge reached the summit of Aconcagua, one of the highest mountains in the world.
“It was a desert-type climate and it was straight up,” says wounded veteran Pete Quintanilla describing the mountain in Argentina.
The summit is nearly 23,000 feet, the highest spot in the Western Hemisphere.

Quintanilla was wearing a specially designed prosthetic leg made of carbon fiber as he climbed it. Based on its performance during the climb, he’ll provide feedback to the designer to improve new prosthetics for others.


The nine-man team was organized at the group’s headquarters in Tarpon Springs. They unloaded their backpacks after the month-long expedition to Argentina.

Billy Costello also lost part of a leg while in the army, but he’s participated in several of these challenges, including a trip to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro last year.

“Mission success to us is challenge, research and inspire,” said Costello.

Team members always invite other combat wounded veterans to join them.

“This is what I’m doing. You can do it too,” says Quintanilla.


Some in the challenge climbed with wounds not so easy to see, like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Psychologist Carrie Elk, PhD, founder of the Elk Institute, assists with counseling and performs case studies to help find out how factors like altitude and group dynamics affect them.

“The issues they’re having are certainly going to be stirred up when you’re trying to accomplish something in a team,” she said.

Several in the team said they feel more confident with each challenge. Plans are in the works for underwater challenges this summer in the Florida Keys.

Original source here

Warrior Sailing Novice Camp

Warrior Sailing Novice Camp

wsp-logo-blueThe weather is pretty nice here in Florida.  (Sorry to all the CWVC fans outside of the Sunshine State!)  With that in mind, our thoughts turn to the next Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge.

In partnership with US Sailing and the USMMA Sailing Foundation, CWVC is proud to announce new Adaptive Sailing Novice Camps for our wounded and injured veterans!  If you want to get your competitive juices flowing, this might be just the opportunity you’ve been searching for.

This unique program has been running for a while and our nonprofit was fortunate enough to work with Jen French, Ralf Steitz and other key members of the program to offer it as one of our Challenges.  The goal is to introduce to injured and wounded military veterans the sport of sailing and give them a chance to learn basic sailboat racing.

The camps are 3-day intensive courses focused on skill development to manage a boat on the water as well as societal skills, which may translate to personal and job skill development. Participants will be given resources to continue with the sport if they so choose.

There are 3 camps.  

The first one is already closed – March 30-April 2 right in our very own backyard -St. Petersburg, Florida.  The second camp is May 4-6 in San Diego and the last one is in Galveston, Texas September 8-10.

Who can participate?

  • Seeking a broad mix of participants with disabilities
  • Male and Female
  • Combat Wounded and Injured
  • Spec Forces
  • 21-65 years of age
  • Amputees – mix of lower and upper extremities
  • Some TBI/PTS
  • Some Paralysis
  • Must be communicative and able to transfer themselves.

If you desire to get involved in this new adaptive competitive sailing program for newbies, Click here to go to the CWVC website page and begin the online application.

Good luck and we’ll see you out on the water soon!

In the news: Studio 10

In the news: Studio 10

This morning our Aconcagua Team members, Billy Costello, Pete Quintanilla, Josh Waisanen and Bryan Weideman appeared on the WTSP-TV Studio10 show.  They talked about the climb, the conditions and the medical studies being conducted while making the ascent.

Show host Roxanne Wilder led the discussion and the guys did a great job representing CWVC.  If you missed it you can click on the link to see the entire segment.

Combat Wounded Veteran Challenge Video Link

Thanks Studio 10 for taking an interest in CWVC and our Challenge Warriors!

Latest Update from Alaska Mountaineering School

I posted a link to the Alaska Mountaineering School’s blog post Caitlin put up a few days ago, but haven’t had time to properly update, so I’m going to post the embedded Facebook post here…I hope it works, if not, let me know and I’ll write up something asap. Thanks for your patience everyone!! ~ Wendy

NOTE: You have to give the Facebook post a few seconds/minutes, depending on your connection, to load. 🙂