SUMMIT STORIES: I AM A BLIND ICE CLIMBER
I learned to ice climb a couple of years ago when I saw a posting about an adaptive climbing event in the Adirondacks, NY. In the process, I had the opportunity to meet supportive people in the climbing community. One thing I learned as an adaptive endurance runner is that there's always a community that will work with you.
The bigger question is, "Why do I ice climb?" As a visually impaired athlete, I never thought I would try climbing. I get out there in the cold, and I'm living a new adventure. I never once thought I'd ever swing an ice tool into the ice. I love the flow of movement and the focus on proper technique. I'm living an experience that many people without disabilities would never do. The challenge of the dynamic environment and the elements also bring a special spirit out of me. Now, all I crave is that feeling I get when I reach the top of the climb. I look down at the route, and with my limited vision, I "see" that I can, I did it, and I keep on doing it! I love the challenge, coming out on top, and once I get down, let's do it again.