Almost all cottagers have spent some time jumping in freezing cold lakes, but not many can say they’ve jumped in more than 150 over the course of a decade.
On Sunday, 37-year-old Marc Ackenbauer completed his quest to do just that—all in the name of charity. For the past decade, Ackenbauer has spent a great deal of his free time hiking through Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, jumping into every one of its lakes.
Ackenbauer was inspired to take on the challenge by his own battle with cancer, and as an enthusiastic seasonal parks employee, he felt prepared for it. He used the publicity from the stunt to help fund Camp Mak-A-Dream in Montana, which offers free programs for cancer patients and their families.
According to reports, the effort consumed his summers, though it certainly doesn’t sound like the worst way to spend July and August. And while it may not appear as adventurous as something like climbing Mount Everest for charity, it’s no small feat. Getting to and from Medicine Owl Lake was a three-day backcountry hike. In fact, many of the lakes are incredibly remote, and the park offers no trails to their shorelines
“I’ve seen Glacier Park in lights and angles that most people will never have the opportunity to,” Ackenbauer said.
He finished his lake-jumping adventure on Sunday, Sept. 8, though he did come a little short of his $10,000 goal, so it’s not likely that he’s dismissing donations, even after the end date.
To donate or to find out more about his adventure, you can visit his site at glacierexplorer.com.