REDLANDS -- Adventure is out there, and Paul Melzer knows this to be true.

For 24 hours straight in late May, Melzer, born and raised in Redlands, will climb the peaks of the San Bernardino Mountains for a cause.

The 40-mile trek will take Melzer on a solo adventure through the mountains to raise funds for the Wildlands Conservancy, a non-profit organization dedicated to land conservancy in the state. The organization is based in Oak Glen.

The idea for his "24 Peaks in 24 Hours" adventure was inspired by a similar effort done last year by friend Evan Welsh.

For 24 hours straight in late May, the Redlands native and current Oak Glen resident Paul Melzer will climb the peaks of the San Bernardino and San
For 24 hours straight in late May, the Redlands native and current Oak Glen resident Paul Melzer will climb the peaks of the San Bernardino and San Gorgonio Mountains for a cause. (Courtesy Photo)

"He was an avid hiker in the local mountains and actually completed a course of 18 peaks in 18 hours. And he and I had both been thinking about completing some kind of course... (but) Evan moved back east before we attempted it. So I'm going to do it," Melzer explained.

Much of his climbing will be done in the day time, but when nightfall hits, that's when he must be most on his toes. But he has a plan.

The date of his climb -- which will be May 24 and 25 -- the moon will be full, he says, and he will carry a headlamp and flashlight to light the trail as he makes his way through the San Bernardino Mountains.

While his trek is several weeks away, Melzer is in full planning mode, he said, adding he is documenting the progress online through the Web blog he maintains at epic4epic.org

Updates will be posted as soon as they are available, he said, and a course map he has designated can also be found on the blog.

Those who wish to support his effort can also do so through the site. His goal is to raise $20,000 for the conservancy, he said.

"I think it's interesting (keeping a blog)," Melzer said. "I invite anyone who would pursue a similar epic endeavor for an epic cause to keep a record of that to keep people informed about their progress. That's what is going to excite people about what they are doing.

"I just posted the blog, so it's gathering steam, but so far the highest level of donation has been a $480 gift," he continued. "And the money goes directly to the Wildlands Conservancy. "

Melzer works for the conservancy and knows first-hand what the organization is all about. He says he wears a lot of hats, but his main job is mission advancement. But he is primarily looking to develop a support network that would give private donations to the non-profit organization.

And while he set his "peaks" goal high, Melzer said he would be happy with a fraction of that.

"I'm doing anything I can do to get the word out," he said. "And I'm doing it partly because I love the sport... and don't want to do it for just myself. "

To learn more about the Wildlands Conservancy, visit wildlandsconservancy.org.