Peter Mayfield is the founder and executive director of Gateway Mountain Center in California, an innovative program for helping youth learn, heal, and thrive
As a teenager growing up in California, Peter became an accomplished rock climber, and developed into one of the world’s best mountain climbers, rising to become chief guide of the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Yosemite is known for being a rock climbing mecca, offering climbers some of the most difficult ascents anywhere in the world.
He has enjoyed a 40-year career guiding people in mountain experiences and developing entrepreneurial enterprises. He is the founder of City Rock, the first full-service climbing gym in the world.
Today, he is passionate about changing the system of care for youth suffering from serious emotional disturbances and complex trauma. Gateway’s program, ‘Whole Hearts, Minds and Bodies’ is the first nature-based therapeutic program in California to achieve full-service partner contracts with County behavioral health departments and certification as a MediCal provider. This means that California has recognized his nature-based therapeutic programs as providing a medical benefit.
In this interview, Peter speaks about his journey from mountaineering to his role as an educator and mentor, and how enabling children and adolescents to connect with nature has such a profound effect on their health and wellbeing.
If you'd like to know more about the work of the Gateway Mountain Center, you can visit the website www.sierraexperience.org
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