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Los Alamos National Laboratory scientist, Pawel Listwan, has always liked a challenge — like leaving his home country of Poland at the age of 19, living, studying and exploring Australia for nearly twenty years and arriving in Los Alamos eight years ago where he settled with his wife Dorota Listwan and their three children.
In November 2012, together with his business partners, Patrick Mockler-Wood, Catherine Mockler and his wife Dorota, they opened the Pajarito Brewpub.
Now Listwan has set his sights on a new challenge. On Sept. 24, Listwan will join Albuquerque attorney, Matthew Vance, at the Grand Canyon to step off the South Rim in pre-dawn darkness for a 48-mile “Feat for Justice” fundraising hike to support New Mexico Legal Aid’s Veterans Justice Project.
They will hike “rim-to-rim-to-rim,” from the South Rim to the Canyon floor, up to the North Rim, back down and up to the South Rim again, all in 22 hours or less.
Listwan and Vance will follow a route descending more than a vertical mile down narrow trails running along sheer cliffs to the Colorado River. After crossing the river and canyon floor, they will hike another vertical mile of steep switchback trails to climb the north rim. They then will repeat the entire trek in reverse, returning to the South Rim sometime around midnight the same day.
The hike will feature over 20,000 feet of elevation change, and a 45-degree swing in temperature. As the National Park Service warns: “There are no easy trails into or out of the Grand Canyon.”
The son of an Air Force Veteran, Vance chose New Mexico Legal Aid’s Veterans Justice Project to benefit from funds raised by the hike.
“This organization improves the quality of people’s lives. I’m proud and grateful to be able to join Matt to help them further their worthy mission,” said Listwan. “When they come home and face adversity because of civil legal issues related to benefits, housing, or family issues, they should have a fair field on which to take on those battles. They should have access to the courts and a champion lawyer to help with those fights. New Mexico Legal Aid needs the resources to represent our veterans,” Listwan said.
Listwan and Vance are seeking donors willing to make “sliding scale” pledges that will increase to higher amounts the more quickly they complete the hike.