Paradox Has Helped Me Build Community in More Ways Than One

By Shane Farver

The thing about the adaptive climbing community is that we tend to come from all over the world. On the one hand, that’s comforting: I can go to so many places, and I can find a friend. On the other hand, that’s daunting: Connecting with my community usually means a fair amount of travel, and all of the costs and logistics associated with it.

In April of 2022, on a whim, I took my first Paradox Sports trip for a few days of climbing at Shelf Road. Outside of program manager Sam Sala, who co-led an Adaptive Climbing Initiative course at The Front Climbing Club (where I now help run an adaptive program), I was going to meet total strangers. I left my home outside of Salt Lake City, went up and over Vail Pass and down into crag after crag of sweet limestone bliss. 

After working wonky legs up the steep approaches, scraping my fingers raw on sharp limestone, and belting out some serious Alanis Morissette during camp karaoke, I left having turned “complete strangers” into lifelong friends. (Got Stump Award winner Erich Meinig and blind-climber badass Trevor Hahn continually hatch plans with me to climb together, for instance.) I knew that I needed to be close to these folks. To do that, I needed to travel far. 

Just a few months after that initial trip, I took part in an outdoor Adaptive Climbing Initiative course to learn from Sam in an outdoor setting. It was there that I met another close friend, Dave Egan. Dave is a regular feature of many adaptive climbing events, helping to instruct and lend an expert’s hand at a moment’s notice. 

So, when I learned that Sam, Trevor, Erich, Dave and many others I call close friends were headed to the Bozeman Ice Fest in December of 2022, my brain started bubbling with excitement. Not only did I want to reconnect with my community, I wanted to observe how the adaptive ice climbing clinic was taught. Through my association with The Front’s adaptive program and other opportunities, I have begun teaching various clinics and helping other adaptive climbers find their passion and realize their potential. I’m pretty dang new to ice climbing myself, but I’m hooked and want to share that passion one day.

There was a fairly big obstacle, though. With a mortgage and plenty of bills, I was a little short on the money to make it happen.. I recently learned about Paradox’s Community Fund Grant from program manager Nate McKenzie, so I decided to apply. Bam! A few weeks later, Development and Communications Manager Becky Lindstrom informed me that I received the grant. 

As you can see from my story, that’s one of several ways that Paradox Sports has connected me with my community and enabled me to pursue my passions. I’m grateful for the support. 

Erich climbing a frozen waterfall. The ground is snowy and there are rocky, snowy cliffs on the right.
A snowy, valley image of Bozeman, MT. Butte like cliffs are in the distance.
Dave Egan smililng next to a pin on Shane's jacket that says "I KNOW DAVE EGAN"

Photo Decriptions:

Photo 1: A top-down view of Shane ice climbing.  He has climbing on a frozen waterfall and there is snow on the ground below with pine trees and snowy/rocky mountains in the background.  He has both of his axes in the wall and is looking up.  Shane is wearing all black with a grey helmet and climbing on a bright green rope.  (Photo courtesy of Cameron Maier – Bearcam Media)

Photo 2: Shane and Trevor, both sipping on canned beer while sitting in the back of an open hatchback car.  They are looking at the camera as they take drinks.  Trevor is wearing an orange helmet, sunglasses, a red and blue jacket and black pants with a large, bright blue bag in front of his legs.  Shane is wearing an orange beanie, glasses, a bright green jacket, black pants with knee-high blue gaiters and bright yellow La Sportiva boots with crampons.  They are in a snowy parking lot with other cars and a couple of bystanders in the background. (Photo courtesy of Cameron Maier – Bearcam Media)

Photo 3: From left to right: Shane, Trevor and Erich taking a selfie.  They are all looking at the camera and smiling.  Shane and Erich are holding glasses up in the photo.  All three of them are wearing maroon shirts and sitting in front of a tan colored wall.

Photo 4: An up-valley image in Bozeman. There is snow on the ground and pine trees up the valley. On the left, there is a cliff wall with a frozen waterfall that Erich is ice climbing. He is mid swing and there is a tree protruding outward above him. On the right, there are rocky, snowy cliffsides that span out of the image.

Photo 5: A scenery image from Bozeman, MT. The image is looking up a valley and there is snow on the ground and a row of pine trees at the forefront. In the background are rocky, butte-like mountain tops covered in snow and there is a rock wall to the left.

Photo 6: The corner of Shane’s jacket showing a pin that says ‘I KNOW DAVE EGAN’. Dave is in the picture with his face next to the pin smiling. He is wearing a green jacket and ballcap.