Los Angeles, California
Trail name: Mountain Mic
Founder of TrapHike, DestinationHL and Occupy: Hike
The first time that Chris Grays hit the trail to begin shedding the 60 pounds he had packed on while at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), he brought a lifetime of loss and trauma along for the hike. Chris was only two years old when his father was murdered, and as a teenager—while navigating a growing attraction to both boys and girls—he was repeatedly sexually abused by a trusted church choir director. Believing that his emotional maturity and early physical development during puberty were responsible for the abuse, Chris turned to overeating at UCLA as a way to make himself as unattractive and undesirable as possible. Now he was on a mission to not only get fit and get back at those who bullied him about his weight, but to create a new life in the outdoors that would awaken what he called his “new superpower”—the power of vulnerability.