Craig DeMartino

In 2002, I survived what many would consider an impossible event. I was dropped 100 feet from an anchor in CO to the ground, hitting the talus blocks standing, and destroying most of my body. The fall resulted in a fused back, L1-L4, and fused neck, C5-6, chronic pain, numerous broken bones, and lastly, the amputation of my right leg below the knee. For most, that would mean a life of low expectations, pain, and regret. I’ve really never been “most” people!

I returned to climbing three months after amputating my leg, and once I figured out how my new body worked, began to rebuild my mind. It took about two years, but I slowly began to climb at the levels I had done prior to the accident. Once I felt good again, I began working towards some firsts in the world of adaptive climbing. Here are a few:

  1. 1st Amputee to climb El Capitan in Yosemite in under a day.
  2. 1st Amputee to climb The Nose of El Capitan in a day.
  3. Lead the first All Disabled Ascent of El Capitan.
  4. Current Paraclimbing National Champion.
  5. 2 Bronze Medal in 2015 Paraclimbing World Championships, Spain., and France, 2012
  6. ABS National Paraclimbing Champion 2012/2013

For me, going back to climbing was never in question, its more about what can I do and who can I help that matter to me. I work with Paradox Sports to take disabled people climbing for the first time, or to get them back out after an injury, and I continue to push my limits outside on new routes and established lines. A big part of me recovering is the support network I had and I try to give that support to others as they navigate the new “normal.”

I work also with The Outdoor Channel where I host a show called Fight to Survive ,where I interview accident victims who have made it back to life after injury, one survivor chatting with another. Our show goes out to 42 million viewers a year, and the reach has been amazing.

– Craig DeMartino –

Craig Host Reel from craig demartino on Vimeo.

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