On the 28th of May, five active duty Air Force officers flew to Alaska. Most had never met before, but we've found that such a group of Airmen form into a very strong team immediately. There's no question this is the case with this group of people. Captain Mark Uberuaga, the trip leader, sent back an e-mail and picture just as the team left on a ski-plane for the base of the mountain. Here is the message from Mark:
The weather in Talkeetna has been great. Our team is looking really good and a few days of high pressure should give us a good chance of getting a good start at the climb. > > Tavis, Tim, Graydon, and Erin have just taken off and they should be arriving at Basecamp shortly. Andrew and I are going to be right behind them, We'll spend only a couple of hours there caching some gear and getting all rigged up, then we'll hit the trail and hopefully make it to our first camp sometime this evening.
Here is a picture of the team just before they departed from Talkeetna.
Updates after this will likely be few and far between, but I'll make sure any information I receive reaches this blog. The team procured a SAT-Phone, so they should be able to make occasional calls out to me and family members. If you receive any updates, please don't hesitate to e-mail them to USAF7Summits@gmail.com, so they can be added here. The gang will also use the SAT-Phone to try and coordinate a fly-by from an Air Force aircraft when they are on the summit of the mountain. We're hoping to see an amazing photo from that if it works out.
So, that's the news. It sounds very good to me. We have a strong group of people that all have great skills and personalities to bring to this team. Let's all keep them in our mind and keep spreading the word about this exciting challenge!
By the way- thanks to so many of you donating to our program, I predict we will raise around $20,000 for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation on this climb alone!! That will bring our total for the Challenge to nearly $40k! Thank you so very much, each of you truly make a difference.
--Capt Rob Marshall
Co-Founder, USAF 7 Summits