The adventure continues

Wright State’s Adventure Summit inspires everyone to exploration

By Nick Hrkman

Jordan Romero climbed Mount Everest at age 13. At 82, Dale Sanders became the oldest man to hike all 2,100 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one calendar year. Hearing them tell their stories on Feb. 9 and 10 might inspire you to embark on your own adventure, no matter what your age.

Thousands of outdoor enthusiasts will converge for Dayton, Ohio: The Outdoor Adventure Capital of the Midwest, a weekend of outdoor skill, culture, and experience, at The Adventure Summit, presented by Wagner Subaru. 

The Adventure Summit, co-hosted by Five Rivers MetroParks and Wright State University, has been bringing world-class presenters to Dayton, Ohio to talk about their experiences since 2006. From endurance runners to long distance hikers, the featured personalities energize Summit attendees to attempt their own adventures. Paralympic bronze medalist and Dancing with the Stars contestant Amy Purdy, and distinguished thru-hiker Luke “Strider” Jordan, presented at the Wright State Student Union.

to an audience of more than 700 in 2016

“It is always exciting to see so many people enjoying adventure stories, not only by nationally known personalities, but by their friends and neighbors who find adventure locally but also travel the world” Brent Anslinger, Five Rivers MetroParks Outdoor Recreation Program Manager, said. “It’s the perfect way to break the cabin fever and get excited about getting outside and planning the upcoming year.”

This year, audiences will hear from Romero, now 21, who after climbing Mt. Everest, went on to become the youngest climber in the world to complete the highest summits on each of the seven continents. As he sets out to climb the highest point in each of the 50 states, he’s making a stop in Dayton to tell his story, including how he was first inspired to climb when he saw a painting in the hallway of his school that had the seven continents’ highest mountains.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail is no easy feat for a youth in his peak physical condition. Dales Sanders, affectionately known as, “Grey Beard,” completed the roughly 2,100 mile trek last October, making him the oldest man to hike the length of the trail in a single calendar year. His storied career as an outdoorsman includes such accomplishments as paddling the Mississippi River from its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota to its confluence with the Gulf of Mexico in one continuous trip, and a Rim-to-Rim Grand Canyon hike from north to south, across the Colorado River and out the Bright Angel Trail.

Susan Conrad is the third featured speaker and author of “Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage.” In spring 2010, she paddled an 18-foot sea kayak up the 1,200-mile ribbon of water called the Inside Passage to Alaska, encountering quirky strangers, 700-pound grizzly bears, and 40-ton whales along the way.

In addition to enjoying the speakers, attendees can put their outdoor skills to the test as they compete in a bouldering competition and try to sink their opponents’ boats in canoe battleship before venturing into a paddling or a SCUBA program in the student union pool. The expo floor features exhibitors and clubs who will connect you to an outdoor adventure of your own—and the gear you’ll need for it. A rock climbing wall, indoor triathlon, live music, and a fitness studio will keep attendees of all ages engaged and active throughout the weekend.

“We have people travel from throughout a multistate region to participate in competitions and enjoy the event,” Anslinger said. “It is incredible to see the excitement for outdoor adventure.”

New this year: On Friday night, the public is invited to mingle with the featured personalities and other event presenters. Buy your ticket to the Summit Soiree, a reception with food, beverages, and live music on Wright State University’s campus immediately preceding the featured presentation. Then keep the night alive at the Great Lakes Party with the Pros, open to the public, from 9 to 11 p.m. at the Wandering Griffin.

The Adventure Summit takes place on Feb. 9 & 10, 2018 at Wright State University’s Student Union. For more information about this free event, visit

Learn more about Jordan Romero:

Learn more about Dale Sanders:

Learn more about Susan Conrad:

About Wright State University

The mission of Wright State University is to transform the lives of its students and the communities it serves. The University is committed to achieving learning outcomes through innovative, high-quality programs for all students: undergraduate, graduate, and professional; conducting scholarly research and creative endeavors; and engaging in significant community service. To learn more about Wright State University, visit


Celebrating more than 50 years of preserving green space and natural areas, Five Rivers MetroParks is a nationally renowned park system composed of natural area parks, gardens, high-quality river corridors, urban parks and a network of recreation trails. Five Rivers MetroParks protects the region’s natural heritage and provides outdoor experiences that inspire a personal connection with nature. Educational programs and recreational opportunities are offered year-round for all ages. Five Rivers MetroParks is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies. To learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks, log onto, or call 937.275.PARK (7275).

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Reach DCP freelance writer Nick Hrkman at

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