Our goal is to make every climbing gym and program in the country accessible to all abilities.
What is the Adaptive Climbing Initiative?
The Adaptive Climbing Initiative is an invitation to us all – adaptive athletes, recreational climbers, climbing facilitators, and volunteers – to rethink what is possible. Supported by The North Face, Paradox Sports has put together a comprehensive training program to welcome people with physical disabilities into the climbing community. These courses get climbing facilitators the experience and equipment they need to offer quality adaptive climbing programs.
Climbing requires you to be present in both mind and body, and often the “disability” holding you back is in the mind. Climbers may realize how to use muscle groups in a unique or new way, enhancing fine and/or gross motor skills and flexibility. Climbing, as a sport in general, requires adaptive equipment even for able-bodied climbers: harnesses, ropes, ice tools, and other gadgets aid in ascending the wall for people of all abilities. Climbers may realize they don’t need as much assistance or adaptive equipment as anticipated, inspiring confidence.
Climbing offers continuous planning, creativity, focus, problem solving, risk management, communication, pushing through perceptions, learning, and adapting: all of these have the potential to transfer to everyday life. Climbing also involves natural beauty, natural ferocity, solitude, flow, focus, and discovery. Able-bodied and climbers with disabilities alike have been known to have unexpected realizations about life, ambitions, fears, priorities, and more.
We are passionate about welcoming everyone to not only the sport of climbing, but into the climbing community. We see adaptive climbing programs as win-win for everyone involved, with the following benefits for:
- Welcomed into the climbing community
- Engages mind and body: the “Flow Experience”
- Builds strength, endurance, and motor skills
- Increases sense of camaraderie, trust, and community
- Professional development by becoming a more well-rounded facilitator
- Improves rapport and approachability with people of different backgrounds
- An intriguing challenge for those familiar with facilitating climbing for the able-bodied
- A great way to give back to the community
Climbing Facility Managers:
- Increases diversity of the climbing population
- Draws new memberships
- Shows stakeholders your commitment to diversity and inclusion
- Connection to Paradox Sports, The North Face, and the Adaptive Climbing Initiative