Big City Mountaineers and Backpacker Mag Launch Fundraiser

Sixty Backpacker Magazine readers will join editor-in-chief and longtime BCM board member Jonathan Dorn on climb of Mt. Whitney

(Golden, Colo.) – Big City Mountaineers (BCM), the leading non-profit that instills critical life skills in under-resourced urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions, will raise over $250,000 from a series of Mt. Whitney Summit for Someone (SFS) fundraising climbs April 16-29.

In the August issue of Backpacker magazine, Backpacker magazine editor-in-chief and longtime BCM board member Jonathan Dorn extended an invitation to readers to submit a written entry telling him why they would like to join him on a climb of Mt. Whitney. After receiving 75 essays (some including photos and video), 60 readers committed to raising $4,000 each for BCM youth to join the climb.

SFS is a unique program that gives participants a chance to travel, climb the world’s premier mountains under the instruction of some of the world’s best guide services, and positively impact the lives of under-resourced urban youth. The vital funding raised through SFS enables BCM to help thousands of urban youth across the country in need of positive adult guidance, in challenging and restorative wilderness environments. BCM programs have a proven track record of improving integrity, self-esteem, decision-making abilities, and communication skills that keep kids healthy, active, in school, and motivated to strive for success.

“I had to turn around on Mt. Whitney years ago due to avalanche danger, and I’ve been wanting to go back and summit ever since,” says Dorn. “When I threw out the invite to Backpacker readers, I had no idea we would receive the type of support we have for BCM youth. To our knowledge, there’s never been one true mountaineering event that attracted so many participants and raised so many dollars for a good cause.”

Joining Dorn are The North Face athletes Pete Athans and Cedar Wright. Wright has already raised over $10,000 for BCM through past SFS climbs. Additional partners are DeLorme, which is sponsoring the climb in addition to providing inReach satellite communicators with GPS, and Lowa, which is providing mountaineering boots.

To donate, please visit

In addition to these Whitney climbs, the SFS climb opportunities include Mt. Rainier, The Grand Teton, and Mt. Kilimanjaro along with 15 other world-class mountains. To find the climb that is right for you and to help even more youth experience BCM’s life-changing programs, please visit

About Big City Mountaineers
Big City Mountaineers (BCM), which serves youth in eight cities across the country, was founded in 1989 to instill critical life skills in underserved urban youth through transformative wilderness mentoring expeditions. BCM's model is to partner with a vibrant network of youth-based agencies that work with under-resourced, racially diverse young people who often have no experience outside of their neighborhoods. BCM expeditions provide under-resourced youth with the tools and positive reinforcement needed to overcome obstacles and strive for a better future. BCM leverages the challenges inherent in wilderness adventure with a one-to-one mentoring model and time-tested curriculum designed to teach and empower youth. For more information, please visit