Frequently Asked Questions
Why don’t you just skip climbing mountains and give all that money to charity?
For an issue that does not have nearly the awareness of other global problems, raising money is extremely difficult. The platform we have developed is to raise awareness so that charitable giving to the issue of child sex trafficking can become easier. The 70,000-foot challenge is poised to generate significantly more than the cost of the expedition. By creating a global audience of millions of followers with compelling, authentic content, we keep the mission of combating child slavery front and center. Then, not only are our sponsors engaged charitably, our audience is too, allowing for incredible fundraising opportunities to open.
Aren’t all expeditions that shroud themselves in charity "fake?"
Absolutely not. We are not the first, nor will we be the last charity to climb mountains to make a difference in the world. Just as golfers host charity golf tournaments, and runners often run for a cause, we believe that mountaineers can do the same. There is a long and deep history of athletes—from beginners to professionals in every sport—doing what they love on behalf of a cause, and we strongly applaud their efforts. It is time to get off the sidelines and make a difference in the world. If this expedition can raise everyone’s awareness of the horrors of child sex trafficking and save lives, it’s worth doing. Mission 14® wants to see human trafficking end, and we’re climbing mountains to help in that fight. It is never too late or too hard to stand up and fight for what is right.
Couldn’t others do this same thing if they had the funds to do so?
Probably. All modern mountaineers stand on the shoulders of great, historic mountaineers who came before us, and we absolutely believe that the records we aim for will be broken again and again. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to try it.
How are you ensuring the livelihood of the Sherpas, that you will employ?
We are well aware of the dangers that Sherpas face on any expedition, and we are proud that the mountaineering community has stepped up in recent years to champion these issues. Our high altitude Sherpas will each receive the exact same gear and apparel that Mission 14® staff will use on-mountain: every innovation, every apparel advancement, and every safety feature we’ve packed into our gear will be given to all of our Sherpa partners. This represents hundreds of thousands of dollars of investment in the equipment our Sherpas will use on-mountain. We are dedicated to hiring highly qualified Sherpas, paying top wages, ensuring all staff and managing medical needs. Further, we are working alongside local organizations, other teams on the mountains and experts in the field to limit our risks in a dangerous environment. Mountaineering is a team effort and we are dedicated to building a team that places the health and well being of our partners over summits.
Isn’t weather one of the biggest concerns on an expedition like this?
Absolutely. Weather can dictate our success or failure. We have planned in as many contingencies and protocols as possible, but believe that ultimately, the only way to succeed is to try.
What is your climbing style?
We are challenging ourselves to climb six of the world’s tallest mountains in 2015. If successful, this will be a record number of 8000-meter ascents in one calendar year. Our efforts are focused on the techniques and opportunities that will help us accomplish this goal. As mountaineers, we know that style is incredibly important to our community. That’s why we’re 100% up front about the fact that we’re going to use oxygen when our bodies need it; that we will employ high altitude Sherpa’s on every mountain; and that the core team will travel between some base camps with helicopters, to save time. We will be climbing on the normal routes on all of the mountains, often using fixed ropes to manage the risks. We recognize that many great climbers have come before us to establish those routes and set the precedents, techniques, and styles that we will follow. It is an honor to simply follow in the historic footsteps of generations of mountaineers.