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Extreme Mountaineering or Extreme BS? I think the latter...


Kai Larson · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Jan 2006 · Points: 250

"Awareness climbs" and "Fundraising Climbs" are still B.S.

Ryan Watts · · Bishop, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 25
Kai Larson wrote:"Awareness climbs" and "Fundraising Climbs" are still B.S.
More BS than other charity fundraisers? How so?
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,146
Ryan Watts wrote: More BS than other charity fundraisers? How so?
Most charity fundraisers the person organizing them gets very little out of the event. Take a swim for fun to raise awareness of the dangers of di-hydrogen monoxide. The organizer and participants get to say they swam a mile and not die. But really that is it. The organizer on their own accord could probably arrange to do such a swim on their own regardless. That is there are very little up front costs that directly support the organizer.

With Mission 14 and other many other similar fundraisers there are significant up front costs that go directly to supporting the organizer. Supporting them in a way that enables to have fun at someone else's expense that in normal circumstance they could not afford to do.
Medic741 · · Red Hook, New York · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 265

Watch the video posted on the front page of the site.

mission14.org/

John Vanek · · Gardnerville, NV · Joined May 2013 · Points: 0
Allen Sanderson wrote: While their overall goals/style still do not do much for me, at least they listened. And probably realized that they were not being taken seriously thus were not going to meet their goals in any shape or form.
Allen, while they may have listened to the climbing community, I still don't see much of a presence from the anti-human trafficking community (i.e., experts on trafficking and the response to trafficking.

As another post stated, the idea of raising and spending $6M to raise awareness to raise more money is BS; there are many organizations engaging in this issue that don't aggrandize one person's project like climbing 8000 meter peaks.

Sad.
Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65

5-6m would be 2-3 years funding of the full budget of the NYF which builds rural nutritional rehab clinics, fights child slavery and the kamlari system, rescues and provides housing to street children, and provides education scholarships for impoverished youth in Nepal.

charitynavigator.org/index.…

Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,146
John Vanek wrote: Allen, while they may have listened to the climbing community, I still don't see much of a presence from the anti-human trafficking community (i.e., experts on trafficking and the response to trafficking. As another post stated, the idea of raising and spending $6M to raise awareness to raise more money is BS; there are many organizations engaging in this issue that don't aggrandize one person's project like climbing 8000 meter peaks. Sad.
I absolutely agree John, my comment was to at least give them a wee bit of credit, they went from totally unrealistic to just unrealistic. However, the whole thing is as you said a case of "exploiting the exploited" and as I like to say the fallacy of the first. So unreality not much progress.
clint helander · · anchorage, alaska · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 611

wow. trolling and talking an immense amount of shit on the internet ACTUALLY WORKS!!!

Sweet.

NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60
John Vanek wrote: Allen, while they may have listened to the climbing community, I still don't see much of a presence from the anti-human trafficking community (i.e., experts on trafficking and the response to trafficking. As another post stated, the idea of raising and spending $6M to raise awareness to raise more money is BS; there are many organizations engaging in this issue that don't aggrandize one person's project like climbing 8000 meter peaks. Sad.
To me, the bolded portion is the absolute crux of this endeavor. At its core, Mission14 is about Nick, and his peak-bagging adventure. Through clever (or not-so-clever) marketing spin he has tried to represent this as a charitable endeavor. Apparently Nick has some charisma, and he has been able to convince some gullible people and corporations to fund his expeditions. That doesn't change the fact that the marginal benefit to "the children" from this is minimal at best, and any $s spent on the expedition could be put to better use by real charities that are not busy climbing mountains.

It is also interesting that Mission14 is now keeping a VERY close eye on their FaceBook Page. Any comment that is not 100% complimentary is immediately deleted and the poster blocked. Comments on their YouTube account are disabled. They do not respond to any e-mails asking difficult questions about the "mission." It is also very telling that they have removed all references to their corporate sponsors from their website. I can only assume that it is very difficult to continue to solicit corporate support when your sponsors receive feedback from the public that contradicts Nick's spin the "mission." Despite their claims of welcoming an open dialogue, it seems that they have no interest in discussing this endeavor with the public and will do whatever they can to obfuscate any less than positive commentary on their endeavors.

I do not see the change in the goals of Mission14 to be a positive thing. Simply put, Nick is still a scam artist and should be paying for his own guided vacations. Whether they climb 14 peaks or 6, representing this ill-concieved and spurious endeavor as a charity is a travesty.
SumX Attwood · · Lakewood CO · Joined May 2013 · Points: 10

I just took another look at the site. Apparently this is a good way to build a team for 6 x 8,000m next year:

"Next year we will need the best team possible to achieve our goal of summiting 6 of world's highest peaks in a single year. Our climb here in Argentina was a good start to building that team."

This is just plain funny. Albeit a shallow attempt to get a free trip.

Tom-onator · · trollfreesociety · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 790

No matter how hard you polish, a turd is still a turd.

SumX Attwood · · Lakewood CO · Joined May 2013 · Points: 10

According to their 2012 990 they took in $78,224 in revenue, spent $43,290 of which $36,934 was for a salary and have $34,934 in the bank.

Also interesting is the gobbledygook language that describes the mission. Not one word about climbing 8,000m mountains.

Might want to pick up the fundraising somewhat!

From the Mission 14 2012 990

NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60

For those of you that have been banned from the Misson14 FB page for questioning the efficacy of spending millions to climb mountains in order to raise awareness about human trafficking, you can still make comments on the video of his TedX presentation.

Don't be shy. Let Nick and others who view this video know what you think about the scam that is Mission14.

youtube.com/watch?v=C9XIVtU…

Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145

I climb for free range dolphins that fart rainbows.

Seriously, a Ted talk? Holy crap did that event just lose a bunch of credibility.

Mark Ra · · Frange, CO · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Buff Johnson wrote:I climb for free range dolphins that fart rainbows. Seriously, a Ted talk? Holy crap did that event just lose a bunch of credibility.
TEDx events aren't on the same level as the main TED talks. The X means it is an independent and locally organized event, usually with local speakers. The video is an enormous load of crap.
Paul-B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2011 · Points: 115
Doug S wrote:From the "Team" page on Mission14's website. Current team members are Nick and his wife, evidently. “At 18 years old I left college and enrolled in a 3-month outdoor leadership course in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. Four weeks later I lay dead at the bottom of a dark, wet cave. My rope broke as I was rappelling down into the main room and I fell over 75 feet bouncing off walls and rocks. Despite the fall I didn’t have a single broken bone, just some torn muscles in my lower back and slight concussion. Two weeks later I was climbing and skiing in the backcountry.” -Nick Cienski
In his Tedx talk his heart also stops in this story. Great stuff
NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60

I was shocked that people actually applauded at the end of the presentation. There must be a pretty short line of people who want to speak at and attend the TEDx Baltimore.

Buff Johnson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2005 · Points: 1,145
Paul-B wrote: In his Tedx talk his heart also stops in this story. Great stuff
That's nothing, happens to all the great drama queen actors
Allen Sanderson · · Oootah · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,146

Has anyone else noticed that on their recent Aconcagua climb there were four clients and two guides?

From their FB page: facebook.com/14Summits

"Camp 3 on the day before the summit attempt. Our team is down one member who descended to base camp with altitude sickness. We started for the top at 6 AM on the 18th."

"Aconcagua climb success - 3 team members Nick, Jon and Tony summit the peak 6949m on Feb 18 @ 2:15pm!! We had to descended in whiteout conditions for 4 hours. Thanks to guides Tomas and Gianni we made it safely back to camp 3."


What I find interesting is that most people doing the False Polish do it from base of the Polish Glacier (the second camp). And not schlep gear up higher to the normal route and make a third camp. At least that is what folks did when I was up there. The third camp now seems standard when guiding clients.

As for the Tedx talk. (For those who want to comment here is the URABoob link)

www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9XIVtUEgFE&list=PLsRNoUx8w3rPk21aOKazYLRWSFwaq1Nm1

Great marketing talk. It prompted me to do some digging:

piquenewsmagazine.com/whist…

Seems like Nick has been on the fringes of doing awareness climbs for almost 20 years. Oh yeah 20 years ago Nick was guiding people on Aconcagua but is now being guided himself?????????

NC Rock Climber · · The Oven, AKA Phoenix · Joined Dec 2009 · Points: 60
Allen Sanderson wrote:Has anyone else noticed that on their recent Aconcagua climb there were four clients and two guides? From their FB page: facebook.com/14Summits "Camp 3 on the day before the summit attempt. Our team is down one member who descended to base camp with altitude sickness. We started for the top at 6 AM on the 18th." "Aconcagua climb success - 3 team members Nick, Jon and Tony summit the peak 6949m on Feb 18 @ 2:15pm!! We had to descended in whiteout conditions for 4 hours. Thanks to guides Tomas and Gianni we made it safely back to camp 3." What I find interesting is that most people doing the False Polish do it from base of the Polish Glacier (the second camp). And not schlep gear up higher to the normal route and make a third camp. At least that is what folks did when I was up there. The third camp now seems standard when guiding clients. As for the Tedx talk. Great marketing talk. It prompted me to do some digging: piquenewsmagazine.com/whist… Seems like Nick has been on the fringes of doing awareness climbs for almost 20 years. Oh yeah 20 years ago Nick was guiding people on Aconcagua but is now being guided himself?????????
It would be interesting to know how Mike and Nick did on their 1995 climb. More relevant to Nick's current endeavors, it would be interesting to know how much money actually went to charity as a result of their 1995 climb.

Based on the financials referenced above, the charity's "expenses," and the cost of these trips, I think that it is very probable that Mission14 will not provide much (if any) financial support to the causes it purports to be helping. Moreover, I think that the net gain for human trafficking causes would be significantly larger if Nick simply spent his time fundraising and working to support an established charity rather than raising funds that he will spend on being guided up mountains (like 1000s of other alpine tourists). Any way you look at it, Mission14 is about Nick and his climbing, and the marketing regarding "charity" is just a way for him to get his adventure paid for buy someone else.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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