LEADVILLE, Colo. — Sometimes in life, you have to step up.
“If we don’t do it, who will? Everything is impossible, until someone does it the first time," said an emphatic Jeffrey Lockwood, founder of ‘The Lockwood Foundation.'
Lockwood’s mantra is infectious. Videos detail how his Colorado based non-profit company makes hiking accessible for people with disabilities.
“We have a chance to make history to today, how cool is that to be a part of?” said Lockwood to a group of 70 volunteers at a base camp on Mount Elbert.
There is nothing like experiencing the work the Lockwood Foundation does in person. Where the vistas and altitude take your breath away.
“We’re going up a mountain, but I’m feeling amazing. I mean how often do you get out, share your passion? Doing what you love its incredible," exclaimed an out of breath Lockwood.
How are you doing Zara?
“I’m good," said Zara Vargues during a break in the action.
Vargues lives with cerebral palsy. With the help of an adaptive wheelchair and a traveling party of 70, The Lockwood Foundation took aim at 14,440 feet.
Mount Elbert is a herculean task, it’s Colorado’s highest peak. These volunteers pushed and pulled Zara all the way to the top. The final two miles of the East Ridge trail are treacherous, with a gain of 2,000 feet in elevation.
The tears began when the goal was in sight.
“Are you a little emotional?” asked Lockwood (as Zara begins to cry). “Yeah, it's good. It's good," said Lockwood.
“You’re gonna make it!” someone screamed.
On a picture-perfect day, many believe the South African became the first wheelchair user to reach the summit of Mount Elbert.
“Let's give it up for the bravest woman on the Mountain today, Zara Vargues," yelled Lockwood from the tallest peak in Colorado. “I hope we can change the narrative on what outdoor recreation can be for people with disabilities.”
That’s coming from a man whose foundation not only climbs mountains, it moves them.
A medical team followed Zara and the volunteers on the journey. Everyone made it down the mountain safely.
For more information on The Lockwood Foundation, click here.