Come Hike With Us in 2023
Program Descriptions and Destination Report
Brooke Weinstein, MBA
Senior Manager | Strategic Alliance Partnerships
2 Clarke Drive, Suite 100 | Cranbury, NJ 08512
Gene Taylor, CEO, Business Development
iConquer Adventures and Walking Connection welcome the opportunity to present our adventure travel program to CURE Adventures for season 2023 and beyond.
We are proud of the successful projects we have conducted in conjunction with Cure Adventures to Mt. Fuji, Japan, Inca Trail and Machu Picchu, Peru, and Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA. For brevity, we won't go through our history and past events with CURE in this presentation, but rather only point to several key items which we believe you may find helpful going forward.
Safety - We achieved a 100% safety record on all US domestic and International Adventures. Every group was split into teams of no more than 7 hikers per guide and all guides are Wilderness First Responder (or international equivalent).
Project Operations - We provided a detailed webpage with pre-event information including: Mental preparation, 10-week physical training and schedule, gear acquisition and usage, logistics, final preparation and detailed itinerary for each guest. We provided onsite project management from airport arrival to airport departure including all logistics, transportation, meals, accommodations, hosts and guides. We provided management with comprehensive information about every facet of the program including detailed management itinerary and support. We integrated the video and media team into the itinerary to assure minimum impact on the guest experience.
Destination Management - We provided complete destination reserarch, developed all facets of the hikes, safety protocols, managed all staff and provided Cure Adventure management with access to aspects of the ground operations during the project.
Accountability - iConquer provides advance details and ongoing reporting of every aspect of each trip. For each adventure, we take pride in setting realistic expectation for all stakeholders. We meet or exceed those expectations. We treat every potential guest, each participant, vendor, employee and Cure staff with courteous respect and genuine hospitality. We communicate effectively and provide services when promised at the prices quoted. We seek diversity and inclusion in our hiring practices and we compensate our vendors and employees at or above market rates. We treat everyone with respect and expect the same in return.
Experience - 35 Years in Adventure Travel geared for consumer direct, non-profit groups, corporate sponsors and educational organizations. Serviced more than 6000 participants through iConquer Adventures.
Guest Services and Experience - We received a near perfect rating from every Cure guest that has ever experienced an adventure with us. To date, members from past CURE/MMRF events continue to travel privately with the Walking Connection every year.
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2023 - CURE Adventures Project - Training Hike Adventures
Proposed Destination For All Hike Training Adventures - Grand Canyon South Rim
Consolidating all of the training hikes to Grand Canyon provides greater efficiency, cost containment and enhanced guest services. This destination also offers training benefits that cannot be duplicated anywhere in the US. Please see below.
Grand Canyon is one of the most unique training sites available in North America. This is due to the unique environmental considerations - they are in every case, EXTREME. It is 7000' of elevation, which is typically 1000' lower than most people experience altitude illness, so most people adapt within an hour or so. Humidity readings are typically in the single digits while temperatures can easily soar to triple digits. There is little or no shade, and though it rarely rains, it can change without notice. In-canyon trails are often steep and shared with mule trains. They offer one of the greatest challenges in hiking, beginning with a steep descent when hikers are at their strongest, and steep ascents when hikers are the most tired and depleted.
This hostile environment presents challenges that hikers must respect, train and prepare for, so the motivation is built into the destination. Our 10-Week training program is geared specifically to accommodate every environmental variable and physical challenge offered by Grand Canyon. We use three primary trails, two in-canyon and one on the rim. The in-canyon trails are physically challenging in every respect, while the trail on the rim offers gentle slopes and paved pathways. It is also suitable option for endurance training due to its 18-24 mile length. The village offers a fantastic gathering places to celebrate the teams.
Access to Grand Canyon is 4 hours from PHX, 6 hours from LAS or LAX. Flagstaff airport offers limited commercial service.
The venue and its relationship to Phoenix makes it an ideal location for quick, and relatively inexpensive 2/3-night weekend length adventures. Our itineraries can be modified to meet the individual interests, fitness abilities and service needs of each Team.
Challenges: Grand Canyon is also rare in that as a world-class destination, hotel accommodations are basic and the food is just passable. Entrance into the park can be lengthy, but usually light when we are entering during the off times.
Day 1 - Arrive Phoenix, Social Gathering, Pasta/Pizza Party.
Day 2 - Depart EARLY - direct route to Grand Canyon - HIKE DAY 1. (6-12 mile hike possible) 4500' elevation change. Breakfast, Lunch 1, Trail Lunch 2, Mission Inspiration Dinner.
Day 3 - Sunrise at Yavapai Point, HIKE DAY 2. (3-9 mile hike possible) 3000' elevation change. Afternoon departure to Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. (Teams on the east coast may be required to spend an extra night in Phoenix due to flight scheduling). Breakfast, Lunch, Champaign Celebration Toast.
This adventure can be extended by 1 or 2 days, to include more of Northern Arizona and Sedona.
Includes team transportation Phoenix to Grand Canyon, return, driver, iConquer host, WFR certified trail guides (1 guide for each team of 6), hotel accommodations, meals as indicated, travel and trail snacks, pre-event training, on-site management. NOTE: We typically gift participants with hiking poles, and other items along the journey. The ONLY extra expenses for guests is for personal items and gratuities for the guides. All costs to CURE are provided and agreed to in advance. Beyond that there are no hidden expenses.
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Hotel Reservations for all 2023 teams should be placed as soon as possible (next 30 days for Q2, Q3 adventures).
All guides reserved by 1/1/2023.
Venue Availability: March 15 - May 31 & Sept. 20 - Nov. 15 (Excluding holidays)
It appears that the venue and times for all CURE clients fits into the windows of operation at GC. NOTE: For the LungQuest team, we would need to move the venue to Sonoran Desert and Sedona due to altitude issues. We would also need to host them in April or Oct./Nov. due to the desert heat.
16 Week Campaign
Weeks 1 - 5 - Recruiting, Team Formation, Pre-Hike Preparation, Fundraising.
Weeks 6 - 10 - Training, Fundraising.
Week 11 - Training Adventure - Grand Canyon
Weeks 12 - 16 - Training (Week 16 is HIKE WEEK)
We offer multiple choices for training. For Grand Canyon, we typically recommend a 10-week schedule. that would extend your campaign by 30 days, and make the entire training program 15 weeks. We can adjust as you require. We do caution against life-events getting in the way of training, so we tend to favor training schedules in the 10-12 week format.
We have added a new online feature for training that allows participants to select the one that best fits them and their lives. We believe that the best training program is the one you will actually do! Our new training site is a version of the Walking Connection's Journey 30 Program. Click here and register for Journey30 so you can get a full picture. The program we will do for CURE will contain more narrative.
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Proposed International Destinations
The proposed destinations are based upon several common factors. Those are: Allotted time for travel, budget, seasonal considerations and client schedules.
For time considerations we are limiting the adventure to 5 Days ground with an additional day at the beginning and end to allow for air travel. This window provides for most destinations in the northern hemisphere but eliminates most southern hemisphere considerations with the exception of northern Africa (Morocco) and northern So. America, (Peru, Colombia, Ecuador).
Seasonal and Client considerations in Q2 & Q3 adventures are well accommodated with a minor destination change for the LungQuest Team due to elevation. Additionally, as you know, each destination is unique and travel access can add to the time to access individual destinations.
Budget considerations are based upon time at destination, level of accommodations and meals. We will request two agreements for each CURE client: 1) Set Up Fee that includes, among other items, the turnkey set up for the adventure that includes custom: pre-event consumer destination details page, training program, hosted training webinar, itinerary creation and all logistics. 2) Individual charges for client, staff, videographers, and consumer participation fees.
International Destination Considerations:
Each of these destinations offers far more than great hikes. Each is rich in culture, cuisine, history, environmental practices and accommodations. All hikes are geared for 1 resident expert interpretive and safety guide for every 6-8 people. All aspects of the destination are included into the itinerary to ensure a full experience for each guest. Most destination comes with a variety of options for degree of difficulty and achievement, while offering less physically demanding options for hikers and guests. Many offer out and back hikes as choice base camp lodges, hotels, inns and actual camp sites where required, similar to Mt. Kilimanjaro experience. This provides hikers of all fitness levels along with patients an equal opportunity to participate.
Europe (NOTE: There are very favorable currency exchange rates with both the Euro and British Pound at the moment).
Spain - Picos de Europa - Base Camp - Leon - Epic landscapes, great out and back day hikes.
Iceland - Basar Hut - Fimmvörðuháls - Base Camp - Reykjavik - Epic landscapes, great out and back day hikes. 15.5 Miles (4200' elevation gain and loss).
Scotland Traditional Hill Walks - Scalds Law, Pentland Hills - Base Camp - Edinburgh
Ireland - Dingle - The Kerry Way, Wicklow Way or Mt. Lugnaquilla - Base Camp - Dublin.
Italy - Dolomites
No. Africa - Morocco - (Gateway from Madrid, Spain) - Mt Toubkal and the High Atlas Mountains. Base Camp/Camp to Camp - Marrakesh
No. South America - Peru - Inca Trails/Sacred Valley/Machu Picchu, Base Camp, Lodge to Lodge - Cuzco Region.
Ecuador - Mt. Cotopaxi Volcano - Base Camp - Quito.
Central America: Costa Rica - Rincon de la Vieja (Volcano) - Base Camp - Guanacaste (west coast) region - Multi-sport destination.
Baja - Mexico - Rincon de la Laguna, Pacific Ocean to Sea of Cortez - Base - Todos Santos (Cabo San Lucas region) - Camp to Camp.
Additional Destinations - (10 - 14 Day Adventures including air travel time.
Tanzania - Footsteps of Man - Mt. Lengai - This is the toughest 2 day hike in Eastern Africa - that includes Kilimanjaro Summit. NOTE: I have published a story with images on my personal blog about this hike - It's EPIC! Base Camp/Camp To Camp.
Mt. Fuji - Japan - Epic 2-day hike.
All of Africa - We currently have suitable hiking based adventures to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Kenya, Namibia and Zimbabwe.
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