Tim Wayne Medvetz (LEFT) and retired Sergeant Keith Deutch. BELOW: Medvetz and Deutch on Mt. Elbrus
Tim Wayne Medvetz enjoys a challenge. An experienced mountain climber with an Everest summit to his credit, Medvetz has set out to climb the highest peak on all seven continents—a feat only accomplished by approximately 200 climbers. Except there’s a twist: His climbing partner on each ascent is a different injured veteran from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
As founder of the nonprofit The Heroes Project, Medvetz works with charities to give injured veterans a new lease on life. After taking up climbing following his own life-threatening motorcycle accident in 2001, Medvetz can relate to what the former soldiers are going through. “It wasn’t until I got my feet on a mountain that I felt like I got back to how life used to be,” says Medvetz. “I wanted to show these vets their lives are not about lying in a hospital bed.”
In September Medvetz summited Europe’s highest peak, Mt. Elbrus, with Iraq veteran and amputee Keith Deutch. And Medvetz has three climbs planned for 2010: Antarctica’s Mt. Vinson, Aconcagua in the Argentine Andes and Alaska’s Mt. McKinley. To prepare Medvetz trains four to five hours a day at Equinox gym in West Hollywood and climbs nearby peaks such as Mt. Baldy on a regular basis. “LA is the absolute greatest training ground for high-altitude mountains,” says Medvetz. “In an hour you can be on a 10,000-foot peak, and then you’re back at sea level the same day.”