I am excited to announce that this year's Joshua Tree event went extremely well. We set up at the Indian Cove section of the park at an area known as the Amphitheatre. The setting was grand and we were completely encircled by the towering formations of rock that Joshua Tree is known for.
We were lucky to have nine participants with disabilities join us for the day! The whole group meshed well and the not only was there a lot of great climbing going on throughout the day but a lot of camaraderie as well. The climbing was mixed from some lower angle face climbing to some intense scrambling. Participants were able to learn that every part of your body is a useful climbing tool as they worked their way up the 50 ft. walls.
One of our participants, Corey Reed, aside from missing his right leg below the knee, is also severely visually impaired as well. It was super impressive to see him use his natural physical talents as well as his sharpened senses to make quick work of all five of the top ropes that were set up.
Another participant, Anna, missing her leg at the hip due to cancer, found that sometimes the easiest way up is not always the straight forward way. After some difficulty on the first climb, Anna ascended the majority of her second climb backwards! The awesome thing about climbing is that there is no one set way to do things and the same climb can interpreted a million different ways. When she got to the top she spent an hour there enjoying the view.
We were lucky to have some great weather, spend time with all of our amazing participants and volunteers, and be in a grand setting like Joshua Tree. In between climbs friendships were being made and solidified, and everybody was hiking around enjoying the day and exploring the endless amounts of killer views and scenery that Joshua Tree has to offer.
Disability is only a state of mind, and I think we all learned that you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to, no matter how intimidating it might seem.
Thank you to our title sponsors Athletes w/ Disabilities Network, Inner Passage Guiding Service, Black Diamond and Evolve Sports and Design as well as our other sponsors prAna and Mountain Khakis.