USA Paraclimbing 2013
The adaptive climbing competition movement, referred to as “Paraclimbing”, here in the United States, took a huge step forward on February 23, 2013. USA Climbing offered Paraclimbing divisions for Males and Females as part of the Citizens’ National Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The competition was redpoint style, challenging competitors to log their best 5 boulder problems (of 40 to choose from) on their scorecard in three hours, and was held alongside able-bodied competitors with no special modifications to the problems.
In an extremely competitive men’s field, Craig Demartino, of Loveland, CO came away with 1st place, edging Ronnie Dickson and Pablo Franck, who battled to a tie for 2nd place. Corey Ramos and Perry Parkongruparkorn rounded out the men’s field in 3rd and 4th place, respectively. The lone female competitor, Kareemah Batts, of Brooklyn, NY came away with 1st place on the other end. Ronnie Dickson (who placed 6th at the 2012 Paraclimbing World Championships) noted that “This is the most competitive that the field has ever been…I started competing in 2007 and it has always just been Craig and I battling for the top two spots, but now I can feel the pressure as other athletes are joining the sport and stepping up their game. I feel like I have made huge strides in my climbing, so I have not gotten any worse, but the field is just that much better.”
The next USA Climbing event in which there will be Paraclimbing divisions offered is the 2013 GoPro Mountain Games to be held in Vail, CO from June 6th-9th. It is anticipated that there will be a larger turnout for this event, with 10-15 Paraclimbing athletes expected to attend.
Paraclimbing Committee Chairman, Craig Demartino (bronze medalist at the 2012 Paraclimbing World Championships) notes, “2013 has been the year to establish the building blocks and foundation of the program. The events chosen were easy to implement among the lower limb amputee climbing population. 2014 will be a much more ambitious year in which we hope to offer many more categories within the Paraclimbing Division and also host a Paraclimbing National Champinships. To this point, that we will have a much stronger representation at the 2014 Paraclimbing World Championships, which will be held in Gijon, Spain.
For more information about USA Climbing’s Paraclimbing offerings, please contact Craig Demartino at email@example.com or Ronnie Dickson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about USA Climbing, please contact Ally Kupcewicz at email@example.com or 303.499.0715.
~ Ronnie Dickson, USA Climbing Paraclimbing Committee
Photos by Merrick Ales.