The goal was to hike 5,800 feet up a mountain with a group of 33 people, and Shue Vang was determined to be one of them.
As a teenager, Vang was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He is no longer able to use his legs, and is losing strength in his arms. But his fellow hikers helped make his dream a reality, and they did so while navigating what is known as one of the world’s most challenging hiking routes.
Eight members of the group took turns carrying Vang, 29, on their backs using a special backpack. Vang, who weighs 130 pounds, had to leave his wheelchair behind after a certain point during the Angels Landing Hike at Zion National Park in Utah.
When the group got to the top, the view moved Vang to tears.
Video shot by the team shows the challenges they faced, including narrow, rocky paths and steep ledges, in order to reach the apex—nearly 6,000 feet in the sky.
Vang’s friend, Calvin Kim, organized the climb through his charity, F5 Challenge. It promotes health and wellness.
"He inspired us,” Kim told T&T Creative Media. "It was a very emotional and moving experience for all of us.”
Kim said this is one of the most gratifying things he has ever done.
"I've done lots of races and, hands down, none of those races or any of my PRs can even compare to the sense of fulfillment or achievement that we experienced in taking Shue to the top!" Kim said.
You can follow Vang’s journey on social media by searching the hashtag, #ShueChallenge.