Challenge Yourself to Change a Young Life

FAQ’s

Below you’ll find a list of most frequently asked questions. If you can’t find the answers to your questions here, please don’t hesitate to call us at 303-271-9200 x.303

Where can I find more information on the Backpacker Magazine Climbs?
What is a “benefit climb,” and who does it help?
How do I apply to climb?
How much is the minimum pledge amount?
Why do the pledge requirements vary?
Is a deposit required?
What do I get if I raise more than the minimum pledge amount?
When is my fundraising deadline?
How do I get donations?
What are some fundraising ideas?
Do you accept company match donations?
Can I raise money after my climb?
How do I track my donation/pledge totals?
What gear will I need to climb?
Can I rent gear?
Am I qualified to participate in the event?
Are travel and accommodations included in my minimum pledge amount?
Am I guaranteed to summit?
What happens if not enough people sign up for my climb?
What are the major differences between glacier, alpine rock, and expeditions?
How much money do climbers spend of their own money to participate in SFS?
Do the at-risk youth climb with me?
What is your cancellation policy?
Can I climb with my friends?
Who leads/guides the Summit for Someone climbs?
How many fellow climbers will be on my climb? Will I be in contact with them before the climb?
I don’t live in the States. Can I participate in Summit for Someone?
Are donations made to my own climb tax deductible?

 

Where can I find more information on the Backpacker Magazine Climbs?
You can find it here.

What is a “benefit climb,” and who does it help?
Summit for Someone™ is a fundraising program owned by and to benefit Big City Mountaineers. Summit for Someone is the #1 mountaineering fundraiser in the country, climbing the world’s premiere mountains.

Big City Mountaineers (BCM), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, transforms the lives of under-served urban youth through wilderness mentoring expeditions that instill critical life skills. We partner with community-based youth organizations and caring adult volunteers who act as mentors in the field to help young people realize their potential. Our curriculum improves integrity, self- esteem, responsibility, decision-making abilities and communication skills in close to 1,000 youth annually. BCM has a proven track record of improving young peoples’ lives with:

• Increased likeliness to stay in school
• Reduction in violence
• Reduction in drug use

Funds raised by Summit For Someone helped provide life-changing wilderness mentoring expedition to teens from youth agencies across the country.

BCM Communities include:

  • Denver, CO
  • Bay Area, CA
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  • Miami, FL
  • Boston, MA

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How much is the minimum pledge amount?

The minimum pledge amount depends on which climb you choose. Pledge requirements range from $1,800 to $8,800 depending on the climb. Check www.summitforsomeone.org for pledge amounts for each climb.
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Why do the pledge requirements vary?
The pledge amounts vary due to the different cost of each trip. Some are two days, some are four days, some are eleven days, etc. The amount of the pledge is based on the number of days and the cost to run the trip.
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Is a deposit required?
No. You will make your own initial donation of $250 to your climb.  This will reserve your spot on your climb and also count towards your fundraising goal. This also makes it easy to ask your supporters to join you with a gift of their own.
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What do I get if I raise more than the minimum pledge amount?
You can receive even more gear from our sponsors for going over your minimum pledge amounts.  In past years, climbers were sent CamelBak packs, First Ascent jackets, and Sole Footwear for going above and beyond their goal. Look for more information on this shortly, we are putting together another great package for our climbers.
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When is my fundraising deadline?
All fundraising deadlines are 30 days prior to each climb. If you have not raised your minimum by that point, we will charge you the remaining balance. You will then be able to continue raising money up to 30 days after your climb. At that point, we will revisit your account and refund any money that you raised in that period (up to your initial donation amount).
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How do I get donations?
Upon acceptance to the event, you will be sent a comprehensive fundraising guide. The packet will include tips and best practices that climbers have implemented over the years with great success. The packet will also include instructions on how to personalize a fundraising/donation page on the Summit for Someone web site and how to utilize the provided online templates to start your own fundraising campaign. All solicited donations can be submitted online or by check/money order. Your supporters will receive a tax-deductible receipt with their gift whether they make it on your donation page or send in a check.
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What are some fundraising ideas?
ASK, ASK, ASK everyone for help! You will receive a fundraising packet with many great ideas! Throw a fundraising party with co-workers, friends and family. Send a personalized pledge letter. Do an email and Facebook campaign.  You may also join us for one of our bi-weekly fundraising conference calls to hear fundraising tips from the SFS team as well as fellow climbers.
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Do you accept company match donations?
Yes and No (it depends on who donates the money)

No: Your donations as a climber are not eligible for matches since climbers receive goods/services in return. Exception: any donation made by a climber which exceeds a climbers’ minimum pledge obligation is eligible for a match.

Yes: Most companies have a match program in place for their employees.  The donor will normally need to submit a form, along with their tax-deductible receipt from BCM, to their company to receive a matching gift. We are always more than welcome to help out with any necessary documents. Plus, you receive double for the company match!
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Can I raise money after my climb?
Yes. You have 30 days post-climb to continue raising money for your climb.  This can be a crucial fundraising period, as you will have pictures and stories from your climb to share. Hopefully standing on top with the Summit for Someone Flag.
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How do I track my donation totals?
Crowdrise makes it easy to track donations. You will also receive an email every time a donation is made to your climb with the donation amount and donor’s contact information.
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What gear will I need to climb?
Gear required varies per climb. Please check specific climbs for a list of necessary gear. It is the responsibility of each participant to make sure they are properly outfitted for their climb. Refer to the Climbs section of www.summitforsomeone.org to view required gear lists for each climb. Many guide services will provide most if not all of the technical gear you will need for your climb and you will also receive a great package of climbing gear from our sponsors like Black Diamond and First Ascent.
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Can I rent gear?
Most of the guide services offer free or discounted rentals to our climbers. If you are in need of gear rentals, please check with the respective guide service a minimum of 30 days in advance of your climb date for gear pricing and/or reservations. Check specific climbs for a list of necessary gear.
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Am I qualified to participate in the event?
Each of our climbs requires a varied level of mountaineering experience ranging from beginner to advanced. Please go to The Climbs section of www.summitforsomeone.org to learn more about qualification requirements. BCM reserves the right to turn down any applicant based on skill level and fitness requirements. Your skills will also be gauged by our guides throughout the Summit for Someone experience. In the event that you pose a risk to yourself or other participants, our guides reserve the right to intervene and reassess your participation in the event.  If you have more questions on whether or not you are qualified, please call Devon at 303-271-9200 ext. 303.
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Are travel and accommodations included in my minimum pledge amount?
No, travel and accommodations are not included and are the responsibility of each climber. BCM will not make accommodations/travel arrangements nor will be responsible for costs and liability involved. It is recommended that climber’s arrive at least one day prior to their climb and depart one day post climb. You will be given your specific climb’s travel information upon registration.
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Am I guaranteed to summit?
No, summiting cannot be guaranteed due to many different reasons which may include, but are not limited to: adverse weather conditions, climber health, snow/ice conditions, experience level of group, etc. Each guide service, however, will do their best to provide every opportunity for the group to summit.
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What happens if not enough people sign up for my climb?
Three months prior to each climb, Big City Mountaineers has the right to ask SFS participants to move to another climb of their choice if the climb has 2 or less spots filled. The participant must choose a climb that has available spots and is within the skill level of the participant. BCM will reimburse participants non-refundable or transfer costs incurred as a result of airline and/or hotel reservations. All reimbursement requests must be submitted in writing by the participant to BCM and participant must provide proof of their incurred costs. If the participant declines, they have the option to cancel their participation.
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What are the major differences between glacier, alpine rock, and expeditions?
Glacier involves snow travel and the use of crampons, ice axe and rope. Alpine rock is scrambling over boulders/rocks and may include technical rock climbing, depending on the designated skill level of the climb. Expeditions are longer climbs consisting of 5 days or more in length and may include rock and/or snow travel as well.
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How much money do climbers spend of their own money to participate in SFS?
On average, climbers spend approximately $500-$1000 of personal money to participate.
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Do the at-risk youth climb with me?
No, the teens do not climb with you. You are strictly raising funds to sponsor a youth agency to participate in a BCM program later this year. We highly encourage you to familiarize yourself with Big City Mountaineers and inspire yourself with stories of our youth expeditions, which you are helping to provide. You are also encouraged to become an adult volunteer and attend one of our weeklong expeditions with teens in your region and witness the affect you are having yourself.
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What is your cancellation policy?
After turning down others to place you on a Summit for Someone climb, there is no guarantee we can backfill your spot should you need to cancel. Consequently, you are still obligated to pay the entire financial commitment of your pre-arranged trip. Your deposit and/or pledges are also NON-refundable. If your pledges fall short at the time of your cancellation, your credit card will also be charged the balance due. If you need to cancel for any circumstance, you will remain obligated to the financial commitment up to your pledge amount. Under no circumstances will any exceptions be made. We recommend you purchase travel insurance through Travel Guard (www.travelguard.com, 800-826-1300) to cover the fundraising goal of your climb should you be unable to participate for any reason outlined in Travel Guard policies. Travel Guard’s Cancel for Any Reason coverage will cover up to 75% of the cost of my trip in case you need to cancel.
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Can I climb with my friends?
Yes, you will have the opportunity to sign up to climb with your friends. To be eligible, you must list your climbing partner’s name during the application process.  You may also set up your own custom climb with a group of friends or colleagues. We can discuss which mountain you would all like to climb and set up an exclusive climb with our guide service partners for you your group.
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Who leads/guides the Summit for Someone climbs?
All climbs are led by certified guides/professional guide services who are permitted with perspective land management agencies. Our guide partners for 2013 include: Rainier Mountaineering Inc., Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, Shasta Mountain Guides, Sierra Mountaineering International and Timberline Mountain Guides amongst others.

We choose our guide partners through careful evaluation. Our guide partners are some of the best in the industry with long histories of guiding on their respective mountains.
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How many fellow climbers will be on my climb? Will I be in contact with them before the climb?
The group sizes vary from 3 to 9 climbers depending on the climb. There is never more than a 3:1 climber to guide ratio. 60 days prior to your climb, you will be introduced to your fellow climbers via email and conference calls. You will also be invited to attend a conference call led by your climb’s guide service a month before your climb. Many climbers arrange travel and accommodations together.
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I don’t live in the States. Can I participate in Summit for Someone?
Absolutely. We’ve had many international climbers participate in Summit For Someone climbs.
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Are donations made to my own climb tax deductible?

If we are providing a guide, then part of your donation may be tax deductible, depending on the value of the service provided to you and the amount of your donation.  To be consistent with IRS requirements, we advise participants that the amount of the contribution deductible for federal tax purposes is limited to the excess over the value of goods and services received by the donor. We provide a good-faith estimate of the value of goods and services received in exchange for your donation.  For more information, see IRS Publication 1771.

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I’ve read all this, and I still have questions!
Great! E-mail us at info@summitforsomeone.org or call 303-271-9200, ext. 303, and you can speak with Anna, our Summit For Someone Manager.