Climbing Mount Rainier is one of the most difficult things
to do for those in even the best of shape. So you can
only imagine how challenging it would be with a prosthetic
leg or some other permanent injury. It’s exactly that
challenge that inspires Micah Clark to help wounded
soldiers strive for the summit.
“Hopefully, through those adventures, we show them that
have the abilities to conquer things they may not think
they are able to do,” Clark told 97.3 KIRO FM’s Tony Miner
for the Ron and Don Show. He founded the organization
after returning home to the Tri-Cities from a tour of duty
as a special operations Marine serving in Afghanistan.
The mission is to get our wounded warriors back out in the
great outdoors doing the things they love to do, from
hunting to climbing.
This summer, they’ll help two wounded warriors attempt to
reach the top of Mount Rainier, one of them an amputee
with a prosthetic leg.
“It’s going to be a challenge. We’ve learned from
experience the first year, we had a gentleman with above
the knee amputee and that makes a big difference compared
to below the knee. But we had the guys downs in Colorado
just two weeks ago, training on Pike’s Peak, and they’re
looking pretty positive. They’re gung ho to get over on
this mountain and conquer her,” Clark says.
One guy who’s already climbed to the top is Master Sgt.
Jesse Yandell, an Army Ranger stationed at Joint Base
Lewis McChord. Jesse was seriously wounded in
but recovered and set his sights on Rainier. And he says
when he got there, the feeling of pride and accomplishment
“It will draw a tear to your eye. There’s no way that it
won’t. You’re on the highest peak in North America. It’s
pretty inspiring to turn around and look at the teammates
that you’ve made and how they’ve brought you to that
It’s a pretty inspiring moment in your life. I think every
time somebody comes up there, they achieve the same
thing,” Yandell says.
But Clark says for many of the wounded warriors, reaching
the summit is irrelevant.
“A lot of these guys, just taking that first step on the
mountain, they’re conquering so much more than just
climbing that mountain. It is one of those inspiring
events and hopefully we’re going to expand that with the
help of the people out there and keep on doing what we’re
With over 2.3 million disabled vets in the U.S. right now,
Clark says the need for his services are greater than
ever. His organization functions entirely on grants and
donations, and he hopes to be able to offer the unique
experiences to many more in the coming years.
“That’s why we built Camp Patriot. To take care of the
vets from WWII forward.”
A special fundraising dinner and auction is scheduled for
Sunday July 8 at Seahawks headquarters, with the Rainier
climb set to begin a couple days later.