Welcome to the 10 PEAKS IN 10 WEEKS blog.

For those of you who don't know me, my name is Jeremy Hart and I live in Palmer Lake, Colorado. I'm married to a wonderful woman who shares many of the same interests and passions as I do. I have two children, a daughter, Netanya who is 11 1/2 and a son, JR, who is 10. We moved to Colorado about a year and a half ago from a small town in Missouri. Neither my wife nor I grew up in the Midwest and we both missed the mountains and ocean of our youth. Although we don't have much water here in Colorado we really appreciate living in the mountains and having the opportunity to spend lots of time outdoors doing various activities as well as the opportunity to give the kids the experience of growing up in such a wonderful area. I currently work for Colorado Springs Utility Company and really enjoy both my job and the people I work with. Michele is a restaurant manager and is working on her master's degree to become a teacher. Both Netanya and JR have adapted very well to their new home in Colorado and have become involved in activities both in and out of school. My real passion right now is hiking and spending as much time as I can in the outdoors with my family. In early March this year I decided that this summer I would combine my love for hiking with a way to do something beneficial for a good cause. After weeks of thought and planning I came up with a fundraiser and a way to create awareness for the cause I care so much about. I've decided to call it 10 Peaks In 10 Weeks.


On August 29th, 2005, Hurricane Katrina came ashore in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hurricane Katrina has been called the largest and most devastating natural disaster to ever hit the United States. In so many ways this disaster has and is still affecting people, the economy, the history and future of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It has opened our eyes to the many flaws to the current system that is supposed to help and protect people and property before and after a disastrous event. At the time of Katrina I was living in Missouri and I can still remember reading and watching all of the headlines before during and after Katrina made landfall. I felt glued to the T.V. and Internet, talking among co-workers and checking the Kansas City Star for the latest pictures of the destruction caused by Katrina. One morning I was watching the morning news and the reporter was talking to a resident of New Orleans who was a recently retired N.O. police officer. The gentleman being interviewed had lost most of his belongings, his house was severely damaged and he was living in a FEMA trailer. I guess he was lucky to have a trailer since so many people who needed one never got one. The problem with his trailer was that he had no electricity and no water hooked up to it. At that point in the news cast I remember being choked up and an overwhelming feeling of frustration with the entire situation that was occurring on the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina and the failure of our government to have corrected the problems that were causing so many tens of thousands of people to continue to suffer 7 monthes later. I decided that was the final newscast I was going to just sit and watch helplessly without making an effort to help the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. When the newscast ended I went to the computer and immediately did a search for groups and agencies looking for help in rebuilding the Gulf Coast. I sent out numerous emails and made several phone calls, eventually reaching someone at Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans. The man I talked to explained a program they had in place called "Operation Helping Hands". After learning about the program and how it offered a way for almost anyone to help in New Orleans that could get there and was willing to get sweaty and dirty once they arrived, I was really excited and felt that I had found my way to help. I was also encouraged to hear that once we got to New Orleans we would have a place to stay (which at the time was the FEMA camp), our meals would be taken care of and we would be told where to meet each morning to pick up our tools, supplies, and get directions to the house where we would be working.
After getting off the phone with Catholic Charities I then called my good friend, and at the time fellow firefighter, Tim Bullard, to see if he would join me on my trip to New Orleans. After a couple days of thought he agreed to join me and at the end of May 2006 Tim and I drove from Missouri to New Orleans to spend 4 days working with 8 other people from around the country on gutting homes so that they could be sprayed for mold and then rebuilt.
New Orleans, Catholic Charities, and Hurricane Katrina have had a huge affect on me. Although there are short periods of time when I may not think of New Orleans or Hurricane Katrina, something keeps reminding me that there are so many people who still need help in so many ways, and so many homes that need rebuilding. Just as in 2006 when I sat on my couch watching that final newscast that led me to do something, I feel that I am still able and willing to make a change for the better in someone's life.


This summer my plan is to help out New Orleans again, only this time I'm not physically going to New Orleans. This time I'm hoping to accomplish two things: 1.) Raise awareness about the work that still needs to be done both in the city of New Orleans and along the Gulf Coast. 2.) Raise money to send to Catholic Charities -Operation Helping Hands that will help support this awesome program that allows people from all over the country to be part of rebuilding New Orleans and allows people who are elderly, disabled, or in a financially difficult situation to receive the assistance they need to have thier home rebuilt.
Beginning on the weekend of August 16th I will hike to the top of 10 different 14,000+ foot peaks in various parts of Colorado. I will hike one peak each week for 10 weeks straight. Once done with my 10 peaks I will have hiked a total of 99.5 miles and gained 42,500 ft. in elevation. Although I regularly hike and am fairly conditioned to the elevation of Colorado, this will still be a fairly challenging goal for me to complete. Hiking above tree line week after week will require planning, being in good shape, paying attention to the weather (it can change rapidly for the worst at high elevations) making sure I remain healthy, rested and committed to my goal.

How YOU can help:

First, I'm asking for all of you to wish me luck and lend me your support for my hikes. Next I would like for you to forward this blog to others to help raise the awareness for the help that New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast still needs. Lastly, I ask that you consider donating to Operation Helping Hands by sending me your donation for any amount that you feel you would like to put towards helping this wonderful program. I will send you a receipt acknowledging your donation. I will be accepting donations from May 15th until August 1st. Upon completion of 10 Peaks in 10 Weeks I will send Catholic Charaties the total amount of money I have collected to be put toward Operation Helping Hands. Even if you do not feel that you can donate at this time please consider looking into any way that you may be able to help the people of New Orleans or other parts of the Gulf Coast affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Please check out this site to learn more about Operation helping hands: http://www.ccano.org/hurricane_recovery_projects.htm

Thank You for your support. -Jeremy Hart

For donation information and links to other websites of interest please scroll to the bottom of this page.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Week 4 Hike - Mt. Antero 14,269 ft.

Yesterday on Sept. 8th I completed Peak 4 of my fundraiser, Mt. Antero. Mt. Antero stands 14,269 ft. tall and was a 14 mile round trip hike with 5,200 ft. in elevation gain. This hike was my longest of "10 Peaks in 10 Weeks" in distance although Mt. Princeton will be a very close 2nd. I had excellent weather all day today and was lucky enough to see 2 mountain goats just 75 ft. away from me! This was a beautiful area and I would like to hike on nearby trails in the future. Thanks to my Grandmother, Eloise Hart for her donation and support. -J. Hart


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