Clear Search
Skip to content Skip to footer
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

The Heroes Project: Healing Veterans, One Climb At A Time

How Tim Medvetz rediscovered himself in nature - and how he helped others do the same
18 Jul 2023

THE HEROES PROJECT inspires, empowers, and enables injured and disabled war veterans to redefine their personal limits through expeditions and exploration. From physical to mental training, the Heroes Projects aims to create experiences that inspire these heroes and help them find renewed purpose. 

Tim Medvetz, Center

Tim Medvetz’s story

New Jersey-born Tim Medvetz has always been a natural athlete and an adventurer, curious about exploring the world around him. In 1998, he drove his Chopper across the country, settling in Los Angeles. Using his passion and excitement for bikes, he established a career at Harley Davidson, building custom motorcycles for celebrity clients and Hollywood royalty. Medvetz then became affiliated with and, eventually, a member of the famed Hells Angels motorcycle club. 

On September 10, 2001, when he was racing his motorcycle through the San Fernando Valley, he was hit by a truck in a devastating accident that left him drastically injured and partially paralyzed. After multiple surgeries involving numerous metal plates, screws, and a titanium cage, doctors were able to save his foot, repair his cracked skull and shattered back, put his knee back together, and fuse his finger. Although his life was saved, he was not expected to ever walk again or fully recover his former physical capabilities.

Medvetz did six months of physical therapy, but he struggled to regain the use of his legs. Mourning the loss of his former physical abilities, he entered a destructive pattern of behavior. Then, in September of 2022, he saw Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air on his bookshelf, which had been gifted to him by a friend four years prior. After reading it, he promised himself that he would one day climb Mount Everest. He booked a one-way ticket to Nepal a month later. 

For the next four years, Medvetz lived amongst the local Sherpas in the foothills of the Himalayas, slowly regaining his former strength while training for his eventual summit. He also climbed numerous peaks in the Himalayas while boxing in a Muay Thai boxing camp. He went on to summit Mount Everest twice. 

Helping others climb new peaks

After his climbs, Medvetz returned to Los Angeles, having found himself again and proving to himself that nothing could stand in his way. However, with his personal recovery complete, he would need to find purpose beyond his recent accomplishments. After watching a news broadcast on Veteran’s Day featuring disabled and recovering veterans, he realized that his personal story and experiences in the outdoors could help shape the lives of these individuals as well. He contacted his former sponsors from his previous expeditions, hoping to take a veteran with him on his next climbing expedition. With generous donations and fundraising from Chrome Hearts, Equinox Fitness Clubs, Cher Charitable Foundation, Eddie Bauer, and other private organizations and individuals, Medvetz was able to embark on two major expeditions in the summer of 2009. Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Russia with two injured veterans and his friend and cameraman Ken Sauls, Medvetz was able to capture footage of the resilience and healing period of both these heroes, hoping to inspire other injured veterans. 

The Heroes Project initiatives

In the fall of 2009, Medvetz founded The Heroes Project, a foundation dedicated to raising funds to help severely injured men and women climb the world’s highest peaks. The Heroes Project includes expeditions as well as additional support initiatives.

Expeditions for our heroes

The Heroes Project (THP) works in partnership with their alumni (team THP) to pair new participants with a mountain that will challenge them physically and mentally while capturing footage of their unique journeys. With the help of sponsors—Chrome Hearts, Equinox, Eddie Bauer, and NKSFB—they provide the necessary climbing gear and other materials needed for climbers to reach their highest peaks successfully, safely, and comfortably. The Heroes Project has a 99% success rate. 

Thanks to training programs at Equinox and gear from Eddie Bauer, THP can provide daily training, weekend trips at altitude, and outdoor experiences all throughout the program, ensuring each member is set up for success. 

Continued support for our heroes

THP hosts an annual event, Climb for Heroes, at their local training ground in Mt. Baldy, California. This event encourages supporters, partners, volunteers, family, and friends to meet and thank the veterans for their commitment and service. 

THP’s mission is to make the impossible a reality by empowering injured war veterans through physical and emotional training, allowing them to explore the innermost reaches of themselves and the world they live in. These expeditions challenge the severely wounded to redefine their personal limits post-injury. THP inspires our injured military veterans to find purpose and encourages others to do the same.

Editor’s PicksSee what is top of mind on the Eddie Bauer editor’s desk