The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus The Daily Herald on Linked In HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions
Jessi Loerch | jloerch@heraldnet.com
Published: Thursday, June 27, 2013, 11:15 a.m.

First paraplegic leads climb on Yosemite route

Patagonia posted a fascinating story today about the first paraplegic to lead climb.

Leading a climb -- climbers call this being on the sharp end of the rope because it is dangerous and requires intense focus -- is challenging for anyone. (An aside: I love that phrase. The sharp end. It's so descriptive.)

Sean O'Neill, who is paralyzed from the waist down, used a new, innovative climbing system to climb a route in Yosemite.

A selection from the story by Dave N. Campbell:

Something else happened during Sean's first lead climb and I did not understand the significance until some time later. Two climbers from California's Central Valley were passing underneath him while he was lead climbing and they did not initially realize that he's paraplegic, even after exchanging words with our crew. Consciously or not, they first saw him as a human, then as a climber, then may have even made note of the clothing he was wearing, and after that saw that he was not using his legs. All too often we first see someone's disabilities and then try our best to relate to them on the common grounds that we do share. During the first ever paraplegic lead climb it seems Sean was successful in more ways than just delivering a rope up a section of a rock wall.

Read the rest of the story here.



Subscribe to Explore NW
See sample | Privacy policy

Most recent Explore NW posts

digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

loading...
HeraldNet Classifieds

HeraldNet highlights

A very slow invasion
A very slow invasion: Non-native snails take over the Northwest
Girls H.S. Athlete of the Year
Girls H.S. Athlete of the Year: Lynnwood High School three-sport star Mikayla Pivec
Boys H.S. Athlete of the Year
Boys H.S. Athlete of the Year: Lake Stevens High School quarterback Jacob Eason
In all its glory
In all its glory: The North Cascades on display at the Burke Museum