Significant Man
ASCEND

An Exclusive Backpacking Adventure for Christian Men

This is where the next level begins. ASCEND* is five days and four nights of a life-changing adventure in the Colorado mountains.

* – A private and intense event for Christian men who are seeking more out of life and to become who God created them to be.

NEXT ASCEND
August 02-06, 2022
Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado

Ascend Logo

Gentlemen, if you’re looking for something that goes above (literally) and beyond the normal “men’s retreats”… if you’re looking for a real challenge… if you’re looking for a true adventure, then ASCEND might just be what you need.

The ASCEND backpacking trip is a serious adventure trip in the amazing mountains of Colorado. This trip takes place in southwest Colorado’s beautiful and rugged San Juan Mountains and the Weminuche Wilderness area.

This trip will be 5 days & 4 nights – averaging about 5-8 miles of hiking per day.

The first hike will start just above 9,000 ft. in elevation & we will set up camp the first day right around 10,000 ft. During the trip we will be reaching ridges as high as 12,000 ft. and peaks above 13,000 ft.

We will explore lakes, beautiful trout streams & amazing peaks along the way. This trip is not going to be focused on just seeing how many miles we can throw down but more about reconnecting with God, spending time focusing on your true purpose in life while still pushing yourself without being uncomfortable. We will have plenty of time to talk about life, struggles, leadership & leave with a few more tools to get us through life.

Weather permitting if it’s sitting around our campfire by the lake or our little gas stoves cooking up a hot meal after a long day you will leave ASCEND with memories that will last a lifetime!

All camping gear, backpack, tent, sleeping bag/pad etc, food & travel arrangements from Colorado Springs, Colorado airport are included (you are responsible for your travel to/from your home and the Colorado Springs (COS) airport).

MEMORIES THAT LAST

ASCEND is not an attend-and-forget event. It is an event that creates lifelong memories – the kind of memories that truly last.

Do not be surprised if you’re sharing stories from ASCEND with your grandchildren many years from now.

The Agenda

Day 1- August 2nd Leave Colorado Springs airport @ 1:30, arrive at trailhead by 7:00, quick supper, pack overview & gear check, hike to night one camp.

Day 2- August 3rd Breakfast, hike to lake camp 5-8 miles depending on first day progress, relax, fish, explore, supper & group discussion lakeside.

Day 3- August 4th Breakfast, hike 5-8 miles, peak climbs & mountain views. Today everyone as a group will pick out the perfect campsite, and we well let the adventure lead us. Supper & group discussion.

Day 4- August 5th Breakfast, hike 5-8 miles, peak climbs, mountain views & streams below. Today we will arrive at our final campsite. Supper & relax.

Day 5- August 6th Breakfast, hike out & head back to airport by 9:00. Arrive at the COS airport by 3:00 pm.

NOTE: travel plans & hiking routes could change depending on weather conditions, area closers, wildfires, ect. If you will be driving, riding or meeting at the trailhead we will discuss those details before ASCEND registration.

The ADVENTURE

ASCEND is a true adventure experience.

As a backcountry trip, there is daily moderate to strenuous physical activity, at significant altitude. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks, weighing up to 40 pounds up and down mountain trails, at elevation, for distances measured in miles over unfamiliar and varied terrain.

Participants are strongly encouraged to be involved in a training program before the trip. And it is recommended that participants remain well hydrated, starting several days before arrival in Colorado, to help with minimizing altitude sickness. It is also suggested that participants consider arrival in Colorado a day or two ahead of the trip, to acclimate to the altitude.

Important Note: Due to the nature of this event and the activities, all participants are required to be in good physical condition and must sign the associated liability waivers.

THE WEMINUCHE WILDERNESS

Located in Southwest Colorado, the Weminuche (pronounced whem-a-nooch) Wilderness area is the largest wilderness area in Colorado, spanning 499,771 acres across the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests.

The mountain towns of Durango, Silverton, Pagosa Springs, South Fork and Creede surround and provide access into the wilderness. With an average elevation of 10,000 feet above sea level, the Weminuche is known for its challenging, rugged terrain from the deep Animas River Gorge to the wildflower-filled basins to towering peaks.

The Weminuche is home to three of Colorado’s “14ers”, Mount Eolus (14,083 ft), Sunlight Peak (14,059) and Windom Peak (14,082 ft), as well as multiple peaks over 13,000 ft.

The Food

On a backpacking trip, there are no restaurants near by, there is no drive thru, and there is no private chef preparing your meals for you.

You will be carrying your food in your pack, and maybe catch some of your meals while in the mountains as well.

Your source of water will come from the mountains. You’ll learn how to use proper water filtration equipment to enjoy pure mountain water during this event. 

You may even learn how to hang a bear pack or bear cannister to store your food at night.

Note: if you have food allergies, please make that known during your registration.

Physical Requirements

This is an intense backcountry trip, and as such there are physical fitness requirements of every man who attends. 

There is no cell service during ASCEND, you will be miles from civilization. There will be a satellite phone carried by the trip’s leader, to be used in emergencies. Due to the nature of this trip, emergency services may need to be flown in via helicopter. 

As a backcountry trip, there is daily moderate to strenuous physical activity, at significant altitude. Attendees will be carrying their own backpacks, weighing up to 40 pounds up and down mountain trails, at elevation, for distances measured in miles over unfamiliar and varied terrain.

Participants are strongly encouraged to be involved in a training program before the trip. And it is recommended that attendees remain well hydrated, starting several days before arrival in Colorado, to help with minimizing altitude sickness. It is also suggested that participants consider arrival in Colorado a day or two ahead of the trip, to acclimate to the altitude.

Supplied gear list

Significant Man Ministries will be supplying the following gear for ASCEND:

  • Backpack (60-75 liter)
  • Sleeping bag (20° Fahrenheit rating)
  • Sleeping pad
  • Backpacking pillow
  • Cooking gear/dishes
  • Whistle
  • Water filter
  • Water bottle
  • Cat hole tools / TP 
  • Tent and ground cloth
  • First aid kit
  • All meals
  • Navigation tools
  • Satellite phone

personal gear list

Participants are to bring the following personal gear for ASCEND:

  • Hiking boots / Trail shoes
  • Sandals / Camp shoes
  • 2-3 pair Wool hiking socks
  • 2 pairs underwear
  • Short sleeve T
  • 1 Long sleeve T / Sun hoodie
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain Gear
  • Hat / Beanie
  • Light gloves
  • Flashlight / Headlamp
  • Lip balm (SPF15+) / Sunscreen
  • Personal toiletries / Medications
  • Clean camp towel
  • Clean camp clothes
  • Trekking poles (optional)

Note: synthetic or wool are preferred for clothing and socks. Try to avoid cotton as much as possible.

The Cost: This is a fundraising event, so there is no fixed cost. If approved during the application process, we ask each participant to complete the $450 registration fee. We do not have a fixed amount that we are asking each participant to donate, above the registration fee, whatever each man feels called to donate is up to him. Participants can discuss this in more detail with Keith during the interview process.

If you know this is for you, the next step is to fill out this simple application form, or click the button below, and start the process. There is no “Buy button” and there is no open enrollment form, as this event is not open for most men; the only way forward is to fill out the simple application form, or click the ASCEND Application button below.

You know it’s time. You know you’ve waited long enough. Your wife needs you to do this. Your kids need you to do this. You need to do this for yourself. Click the ASCEND Application button below and begin your journey right now.

IMPORTANT NOTE NUMBER ONE: There is no cell service during ASCEND. Participants are welcomed to use their phones for photos and videos, but don’t expect to be calling or texting. You are at the event to be 100% involved in the event for yourself and to be there for your brothers. If your career requires you to be 24/7 on call, or if for any other reason you cannot be disconnected for five days and four nights, this is not the event for you.

IMPORTANTE NOTE: NUMBER TWO: As a back country backpacking trip, there is daily moderate to strenuous physical challenges. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks, weighing up to 40 pounds up and down mountains at elevation, for distances measured in miles over unfamiliar terrain. 

IMPORTANT NOTE NUMBER THREE: Participants are strongly encouraged to be involved in a training program before the trip. It is also recommended that attendees remain well hydrated prior to arriving in Colorado and consider arrival a day or two ahead of the trip to acclimate to the altitude. 

IMPORTANT NOTE NUMBER FOUR: Due to the nature of this trip, emergency services may need to be flown in via helicopter. All participants are required to provide proof of health insurance and to sign liability/release forms prior to the start of the event.

IMAGES FROM THE MOUNTAINS: