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Climbing post-SCI

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    Hotlum-Wintun Ridge is the best ski descent on the mountain. Long and continuous for 7200 ft. My favorite side of Shasta.
    So what exactly was your injury and how do your legs and arms work?


      I'm not much of a skier -- the last time I tried was when I lived in Pennsylvania 16 years ago and my neurosurgeon said he thought it would be unwise of me to do it after the injury. Last time I was up that side was in Sept. 2006 -- the previous winter was near-record snowfall for the mountain, and a friend & I climbed an ice chute between HWR and the left Hotlum ice gully, then descended HWR. Great fun !

      My profile and the other posts I've made on this site explain my injury fairly well, but I'll repeat: car accident (rollover) in Aug. 2007, broke C1 (halo for 3 months), C5-C7 (fused from C5-T1), spinal cord bruise (C4, ASIA D, very incomplete). When I woke up in the car after the accident I couldn't move my left arm or leg, but my surgeon said I had a good prognosis for recovery, and I guess he was right. I got away very lucky, I know.. most people these days would never guess, especially when I pass them on the trail

      Jon, if you are ever in San Jose for the third thursday SCI group, feel free to let me know .. I usually go to the climbing gym that evening these days, but it would be great to meet you.

      The next challenge for me is going to be ice climbing again. It's alpine ice season in the Sierra and a couple of people have invited me to climb the right couloir on North Peak, but I'd prefer to just wait until winter to sort out whatever neurological issues on toprope first before tackling a multipitch alpine ice climb.


        North Peak - near Conness in Toulumne I assume. Never climbed or skied it. I did do the Harding Route on Conness - a very classic alpine rock route lots of 5.9 with a pesky 10.a off width. Otherwise joyous climb.
        Good luck to you, rhyang with your adventures.


          Thought I'd update this thread again .. I've been doing exercises to strengthen my frontpointing muscles for the last month (as I noted in this thread) and just got out on Friday (2-Jan) to do some toproping in Lee Vining Canyon, the usual winter ice crag in California.

          Things seemed to work ! I managed to climb several WI3 lines without any major problems. Had to keep my core warm and shake out frozen fingers, but that's just par for the course .. going snowshoeing the day before and snow-camping the weekend before probably helped acclimate to the cold & altitude (I live near sea level in the SF bay area).

          My shoulders and calves ache, but that's pretty similar to the first couple of days after I started rock climbing again (triceps hurt like hell for a while )

          The last time I was ice climbing was in March 2007 -- I was leading WI3-4 in Canada (just trade routes like Louise & Professor's Falls).

          Do not give up your dreams


            A friend forwarded this to me - Mark Wellman (first para to climb El Capitan) was on the Today show with Steve Muse (first quad to climb El Cap) -


            My friend was part of Steve's ground support team last spring.


              Good link rhyang - I read his book a week out of the hospital, his outlook and attitude really helped shape mine.