The Canadian Adaptive Climbing Society Opens New Doors
Prior to my accident I had climbed indoors a number of times and went outdoor rappelling once. Though I enjoyed the sport I didn't think I could return to it after my spinal cord injury. Fortunately, during my time living in Vancouver from 2015-2017 I discovered The Canadian Adaptive Climbing Society (CACS) a not-for-profit aiming to break down barriers in the climbing world. Trusting that I would be in a safe environment with people who would understand my needs, I tried it out. To my surprise I was able to use my partially paralyzed feet and was able to get to the top of several routes. My first day of climbing with CACS left me with a renewed sense of trust and confidence in my body's abilities (and tears in my eyes as shown in the photo above).
Half a year after my return to indoor climbing the founder of CACS - Brent Goodman - took me out for my first outdoor climb in Squamish, BC. After 11 pitches, almost 7 hours of climbing and the guidance of Brent and mountaineer Ian Middleton, I was able to make it to the top of the Apron - a famous route on the world renowned granite monolith called Chief Stawamus.
Discovering how climbing is literally mindfulness in motion and a form of functional therapy that provides an opportunity for neuroplasticity, I went on to become an Ambassador for CACS! Under the leadership of Director Kate Stewart, CACS is now in Ontario and an HCAI provider offering Therapeutic Climbing to survivors of motor-vehicle accidents. For more information on how to get involved in Therapeutic Climbing simply email Kate Stewart with your queries.