Grays Peak, Colorado
Captain Ivan Castro


After picking up Capt. Castro at Denver International Airport, we made our way one and a half hours west to the town of Dillon.  This would be our home base for the night.  For early the next morning, Capt. Ivan Castro would embark up Grays Peak, a 14,500-foot climb.  His guide, Eric Alexander, is not new to this.  He dedicates his life to taking the blind and visually impaired on the treks of their lives.

The drive from Denver to Dillon allowed our team, Ben Logan, Producer, Josh Famie and Alicia Famie, Associate Producers, some personal time with Capt. Ivan. As we spoke about the next day and what Capt. Ivan was hoping to accomplish on this extreme adventure, he made a very profound statement that would define our adventure and be set in our minds for the rest of our lives. 

The weather forecast suggested an early winter storm might hit the mountain.  As the Executive Producer, this made me nervous, thinking that it might not be the best and safest environment for Capt. Ivan, our team and our camera gear.  Capt. Ivan’s viewpoint turned our thinking around.  His outlook was, “if it doesn’t suck, it’s not worth doing.”  He explained further when he’s participating a marathon, or anything that is physically and mentally exhausting, you really do feel like it sucks.  But, when you’re finished, the gratification of accomplishment is a wonderful feeling.

Well, it did suck, and it was one of the most difficult production filming we had ever tried to pull off.  Eric, having a lifetime of experience in the mountains, said he had never seen such a hard storm come in so fast.  At 12,000 feet we were in knee-deep snowdrifts.  Between the thin air, gusting winds, and the ice, every step was a careful calculation of balance and strength.  All the while, astounded by thinking to yourself, Ivan is doing all of this blind.

The word inspirational does not come close to describing all that Capt. Ivan Castro personifies.  From going through life being able to see, to serving in Iraq and becoming blind after a life-threatening bombing.  His entire story will be a very touching insight into the world of a modern-day war hero.

Executive Producer,
Keith Famie




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