Author: Alex Witmer


A Mountain of Disappointment

There is a bottomless list of reasons to turn around on any climbing expedition, let alone a mountain as big as Volcan Cayambe.  Set high in the Andes mountains just outside of Quito, Ecuador, Cayambe is a common mountaineering objective for our College Semester Program and other courses with a mountaineering focus.  During my semester as a student in the Spring of 2016, attempting to summit Cayambe felt like a culmination of our hard work throughout the semester.  There was a good chance that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us students, and we were willing to give our full effort to this mountain.  But we never got the chance.


I’m Scared

I’m scared. Who wouldn’t be? In the writing of this blog, within the month, I will be holding a fresh out-of-the-womb baby boy. He might have my hair, my chin, and my nose. He’ll hopefully have his mom’s eyes and smile. Whatever he has, he is going to be mine… and I’m scared.


A Bowl of Bugs

We often have assumptions that were so engrained into who we think we are that we never seek to challenge them. We believe that if something is uncomfortable it should be avoided, and that we are our best, truest selves when surrounded by family, friends, and cultural contexts that are familiar. Although these are irreplaceable pieces of our identity, they can often end up becoming crutches that prevent us from getting to know the parts of ourselves that we can only become acquainted with when faced with a bowl of bugs.


Lessons from a Rolled Ankle

When thinking of traditional leaders, the charming, well spoken, “has all the answers” type typically jumps to mind.  However, when instructing courses at Summit Adventure I don’t expect student leaders to have all of the answers – in fact I expect them not to.  Learning how to effectively lead does not require a remarkably dynamic individual, but someone who is able to observe the needs of the group being led.  A story from last year’s Adventures in Leadership course will hopefully provide some insight into just how impactful our wilderness leadership experiences can be.


Sheehan Family Writes About Experience on Course

Let me start by saying what a wonderful time we had at Summit this past summer with my three kids. Rachel who is 16, Kyle (9), and Ryan (7) all loved our adventure. We had endured one of the toughest years and were embarking on our new life after divorce this past summer. I knew we needed time to get away and rebuild what we had left of our family. It all happened in such a timely way.


Joshua Tree Trip & Service Report with Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy

Summit Adventure is based in Bass Lake, California, right outside of Yosemite National Park. With such an amazing course area in our backyard, many people are surprised to learn that we offer programs far away from our home base. One of our favorite course areas is in Southern California, where for the past few years we have been partnering with schools and churches to offer a course that combines rock climbing and rappelling in Joshua Tree National Park with service on Skid Row in Los Angeles.