Colorado resident Chad Jukes hopes to become the first combat-disabled veteran in the U.S. to summit Everest. He’s planning to climb it from the north side with Team USX, a non-profit that aims to empower veterans to inspire others through expeditions and research. Jukes is joined by Second Lieutenant Harold Earls and First Lieutenant Elyse Ping Medvigy, who aspire to become the first active duty U.S. soldiers to stand on Everest’s summit. They are joined by a filmmaker and will be guided by Summit Climb, along with seven other clients. The team arrived in Tibet on April 17.
Jukes' Biggest Challenge: “I’m an ice climber, and don’t usually do things where I rely on a guide. I anticipate doing a lot of personal decision-making on Everest. I don’t want to be in a situation where I have to be afraid of anything. I don’t want to have any luring fears. I want to implement sound decision-making to mitigate as much of the hazard as possible. In talking with climbers, I’ve learned that jumping the gun is one of the biggest issues. That’s not going to be me.”