Adapted Rock Climbing at GVSU
In February of 2006, I took part in the Adaptive Rock Climbing Clinic at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. The event is put on in part by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital (where I did my rehab. after my accident), Kentwood Parks and Rec. and Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association. We had a great turnout for the day. A lot of climbers got to show their stuff. I actually made it all the way to the top and got to ring the bell twice that day.
Rock climbing is one of those sports/activities that has been adapted for people with all sorts of disabilities to take part in. Amputees can learn to use their prosthetics in a way to help propel them up the rock face. Paras and quads can use handlebar-style "ascenders" to grip a rope and ratchet themselves up. There are even different climbing harnesses with extra wide strapping and padding to help with pressure issues for those of us that don't have feeling. This is one of many sports that, depending on your ability level, you might not even need any adaptive equipment at all. So, get out there and climb monkeys, CLIMB!
This is a great program! For more information on this great clinic and to check out any of the other events put on by Mary Free Bed, check out www.MaryFreeBed.com