Valdez, Alaska, Ferrara's jumping-off point for his 800-mile journey. Courtesy of Flickr
In an effort to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress syndrome among first responders, Michael Ferrara is preparing to ski 800 miles across Alaska as part of First Ascent's Be First program. Ferrara plans to start his journey about three weeks from now, skiing north from Valdez on the Gulf of Alaska to Prudhoe Bay on the coast of the Arctic Ocean.
Ferrara spent 30 years with search and rescue teams and other first responders. He suffers PTSD from the many years of arduous, stressful work and now reaches out to those with similar conditions
Ferrara's dog, Lhotse, a search-and-rescue-certified German Shepherd, will join him for the journey.
The Be First program provides sponsorship to adventurers pursuing their individual summits, including an Arctic surf expedition and a 9,000-meter-peak challenge.
Be sure to check out Outside's article on Ferrara, The Man Who Saw Too Much, in the January 2011 issue.