The 9th Annual Climb for Literacy

Ellen Miller is an internationally renowned mountaineer with a gift for putting her unique talents to work for her community. She created The “Climb for Literacy” fundraiser in 2008 as a way for children to channel their passion for climbing into an event that would promote literacy.

The 9th Annual Climb for Literacy will take place on November 15 and 16 at the Vail Vitality Center at the Vail Mountain Lodge.

“I created Climb for Literacy almost 10 years ago because I love the Vail Valley and climbing,” explained Miller, the first American woman to summit Mt. Everest from both the north and the south sides.  “I wanted to teach young climbers how to use their skills to help other people. In essence, it’s kids climbing to help other kids.”

Since its inception, The Climb for Literacy has benefitted several organizations, both locally and internationally. This year’s event will benefit two local groups: The Literacy Project of Eagle County and the Vail Pet Partners Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program.

As Miller explained, “I chose the Literacy Project of Eagle County and the Vail Pet Partners programs because I believe they are a natural fit. We are not a huge fundraiser, but I know that several thousand dollars can go a long way toward supporting literacy right here in Eagle County.”

Colleen Gray, Executive Director of The Literacy Project, concurs. “The Literacy Project volunteers are the heart and soul of our organization,” said Gray. “We currently have 75 Eagle County middle school students paired with Literacy Project volunteers through our Study Friends program.” The Study Friends program is designed to help academically at-risk middle school students gain the skills they need to better meet the academic and social demands of school. “A donation of $100 provides the initial training for one Study Friends tutor.”

This year, the Vail Athletic Club climbing team will climb vertical feet on an indoor climbing wall for donations, while adults from Miller’s outdoor fitness groups will climb actual mountains to raise funds for the causes. Donors can sponsor a climber to contribute toward the event.

“However people would like to sponsor the Climb for Literacy,” said Miller, “Whether it’s a flat donation or a per foot vertical donation, there aren’t any strict guidelines.”

Call Ellen Miller to Sponsor a climber at 970-389-5392.


What: The 9th Annual Climb for Literacy Fundraiser

Where: Vail Athletic Club, 352 E. Meadow Drive in Vail Village

When: November 15 and 16, 6:00-8:00 pm each day

Cost: Varies. The public is invited to sponsor a climber to raise funds for The Literacy Project of Eagle County and the Vail Pet Partners R.E.A.D. programs

More information: Call Ellen Miller at 970-389-5392