Free CMC Speak Series features adventurer and philanthropist Jon Bernhard on Nov. 17 |

Free CMC Speak Series features adventurer and philanthropist Jon Bernhard on Nov. 17

Jon Bernhard knows you can find inspiration anywhere, at any time — even when facing a life-threatening illness.

Three decades ago, Bernhard was told by physicians he would not live another six months. Today, he actively pursues climbing and adventuring goals, regardless of health restrictions. He lives with a non-curable lung disease and has survived three rounds of chemotherapy treatment. With only 70 percent lung function, he has summited 19,000-foot peaks, established first ascents in Alaska and continues to climb multi-day routes.

At the Colorado Mountain College Speak Series on Nov. 17, hear Bernhard’s inspirational story and learn more about his desire to live a life of outdoor adventure, according to a release from CMC. He’ll describe how success as an ice and rock climber forced him to discover a unique climbing style and, ultimately, inspire children and others to fulfill their adventures and dreams without feeling confined by limits. Between climbing, he dedicates his time to the pediatric patients of Denver at National Jewish Health and has partnered with the hospital to create adventure programs for children who are seriously ill. These programs include rafting trips, educational adventures and in-hospital climbing expeditions.

Working with special industry sponsors, including FITS socks, Gramicci and Bergans of Norway, Bernhard found ways to donate durable outdoor clothing to pediatric patients. Additionally, with the support of numerous outdoor industry leaders, he has helped more than 100 pediatric patients each year find adventure. Next up, he will be donating his time to guide and instruct ice climbing for cancer survivors via, a national outfit. The program will help this young population of survivors and fighters thrive in light of their struggles.

The CMC Speaker Series event with Bernhard is free and open to the public. The presentation begins at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 in the Eileen and Paul Finkel Auditorium at CMC-Breckenridge (107 Denison Placer Road). For more information, contact Heidi Kunzek at (970) 989-1314 or email

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