Colorado Backpacking Trek 2016

Summary of Objectives:

To study TBI and prosthetics during this mountaineering and fly fishing trek.


Summary of Challenge:  

Multi-day trek into the Holy Cross Wilderness (HCW) of Colorado.

Summary – Travel to Denver/ Colorado Springs (13 July). Participant pick-up and drive to Salida, Colorado for altitude acclimation, gear issue and fly-fishing familiarization (2 nights). Travel 2 hours to HCW and begin trek. 5 days and nights carrying 50 lb backpacks between 10,000 and 14,000 ft above sea level. Objectives include high-elevation lake fly-fishing and summiting the Mount of the Holy Cross (14,003 ft).


Feedback from the participants:


  1. This was a good example of a great trek within the continental U.S..
  2. Our trip was lean and frugal which led to a simple great trip.
  3. We had a good group of participants.
  4. Nick from Veterans Expeditions was unique and capable with our participant needs. He anticipated needs and problems which eliminated many expedition problems.
  5. Our route was good but tough for anyone with a prosthetic.


  1. The best part of the expedition was the trek itself. The Holy Cross Wilderness was beautiful.
  2. The hospitality of the Gorie’s and Stan our driver was great.
  3. It was very rewarding to carry everything we needed for 5 days thru the wilderness.
  4. It would have been nice to add a day at the end to see Salida, relax and maybe spend a day on the local Arkansas River.
  5. Our route was a good combination of challenge and scenery.
  6. The familiarization hike on day 1 was a great idea for acclimating to the elevation and observing the capabilities of the group.
  7. Running into a female Russian spy on the trail was interesting!


  1. I really enjoyed the challenge. I had to push more than expected. But that was my goal, to be pushed!
  2. I’m now better on my leg than before; more in-tune with obstacles. My agility has improved and I’ve increased my stride length.
  3. I’ve enjoyed the “man-stuff” with our group. Since getting out of the Army, we sort of lose the opportunities for “guy-time”.
  4. The difficulty of the trail was a bit difficult for an above-the-knee prosthetic.