For as long as he can remember, Chad Jukes has been an outdoor adventurer. At 17, his adventuring drove him to enlist in the U.S. Army Reserves. During his time in the Reserves, he served in Afghanistan and later in Iraq, where he led soldiers in combat.
In December 2006, while running convoy security operations, Chad’s truck ran over an anti-tank mine. The explosion left him with a severely injured foot and leg, facing a life-changing decision. Less than three months after the blast, Chad chose to have his right leg amputated so he could continue living an active lifestyle.
After his amputation, Chad took many opportunities to get outside. Paradox Sports empowered him to climb at a much higher level and introduced him to ice climbing and mountaineering. The obstacles of injury, amputation, and the psychological trauma of war were no match for Chad’s desire to excel in the outdoors.
Over the past decade, Chad has climbed extensively throughout the U.S., as well as expedition climbing in Alaska, Nepal, and Tibet. In 2010, he participated in an expedition to climb Lobuche in Nepal, which became the subject of the documentary film High Ground. Chad has traveled to film festivals around the nation, taking every opportunity to speak to audiences about the struggles veterans face coming home from war.
In May 2016, Chad experienced his greatest adventure to date: Summiting the 29,035 foot Mount Everest. Reaching the top of the world was a substantial challenge that required facing the overwhelming odds of horrendous weather and equipment malfunctions in the oxygen-deficient environment of the “death zone.” By summiting Everest, Chad has raised awareness for veteran PTSD and suicide, both of which have impacted him, his soldiers, and his friends.
Chad’s efforts have been featured many times in the media. Notably he has been featured on Good Morning America, CNN, and American Sports Network. He has also been in numerous print publications including USA Today, The Denver Post, Climbing, and many other newspapers and magazines.
Chad has taught and continues to teach people—including disabled climbers and veterans—how to climb in the Ouray Ice Park. Chad shares his experiences through mentoring and speaking to groups about his journey from the hospital bed to Mount Everest.