Aleya Lit­tle­ton wrote a won­der­ful guest blog for us a few months ago. She talked about all the  peo­ple she has met while climb­ing all over the coun­try. She per­fect­ly summed up the feel­ing of com­mu­ni­ty among climbers.

We were proud to learn that Aleya was cho­sen as the win­ner of the Hanesbrands/Champion What’s Your Ever­est? Con­test. Aleya explains what she plans to do with her winnings:

In July of 2011 I plan to sum­mit Gan­nett Peak with Sum­mit for Some­one, an orga­ni­za­tion that rais­es mon­ey for Big City Moun­taineers (BCM) and takes climbers like me on guid­ed trips. I received $10,000 to pur­sue my per­son­al Ever­est: con­quer­ing a fear of heights while giv­ing back to stu­dents who would nev­er get to expe­ri­ence the out­doors. My plan was to choose a Sum­mit for Some­one climb and see the prize mon­ey to go their sis­ter orga­ni­za­tion, BCM. BCM pro­vides an out­door men­tor­ing expe­ri­ence for under-resourced teens that pos­i­tive­ly impacts their beliefs in them­selves, with regard to age/ethnic diver­si­ty, envi­ron­men­tal aware­ness, and inter­per­son­al rela­tion­ships. Each BCM trip places four or five adult lead­ers with five teens. The groups then go on sev­en-day life-chang­ing out­door excur­sions together.

How awe­some is that? In my time climb­ing and explor­ing the out­doors I’ve learned more about myself than I’ve ever imag­ined. For some of these BCM kids this will be their first expe­ri­ence liv­ing off the grid, learn­ing to trust them­selves and their team mem­bers, push­ing them­selves to the lim­it men­tal­ly and phys­i­cal­ly. Their trip has the poten­tial to change their lives, to give them the con­fi­dence to take charge of their futures and make the tough choice to leave home for col­lege, or resist peer pres­sure. I’m so excit­ed I get to be a part of that process.

We sup­port Aleya, and we hope you will, too.

First, while $10,000 is more than enough to finance a climb, after tax­es (bleh) it is sub­stan­tial­ly less. What I want to do is set a goal for $1,000 ABOVE the min­i­mum com­mit­ment, and for that I will need your help. Please con­sid­er donat­ing $50, $25, or what­ev­er you are moved to con­tribute. For those of you who con­tribute $50 or more you will get a signed DVD with an awe­some video of my adven­ture, as well as some trin­ket from the top (or Wyoming in gen­er­al) I have yet to decide on.

Sec­ond­ly, train­ing for Gan­nett will be hard. I’m not much of a moun­taineer, and Gan­nett is a pret­ty epic trip. It is 40 miles round trip, with 6,000ft of ver­ti­cal gain on sum­mit day. It will undoubt­ed­ly be the hard­est thing I’ve ever done. I’m going to need the extra sup­port and incen­tive you will give. As I take step after step above 10,000 ft I want to chant “For the kids, for my fam­i­ly, for my friends, for me.” I can’t take you to the top in my back­pack, but I’d love for you to accom­pa­ny me in spirit.

If you’re able to make a tax deductible dona­tion, you may do so here.

You can fol­low Aleya’s jour­ney on her site Rock and Sky and on Twit­ter.

For more of Aleya’s sto­ry, check out “Aleya’s Ulti­mate Prize, Mar 11 2010