Alpine Tower Climbing for People with Prosthetics
It's 50 feet tall, made of telephone poles, ropes, and wooden platforms. It is at the Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, South Carolina and is used to create self-confidence, encourage team work, fitness and fun.
About 20 people (able-bodied, some with prosthetics or paraplegia) took part in the April, 2004 Alpine Tower Climb Clinic at Warren Wilson College, TN. The 50 foot high tower looks pretty impressive from the ground!
Everyone wears a safety harness. If Dave weren't wearing shorts you probably wouldn't know that his lower left leg has been replaced by a prosthesis. His harness is the same as those worn by most people.
If Dave loses his grip while climbing he is connected to a pulley system that enables his belayer to stop his fall even though she weighs much less than him.
The Alpine Tower builds self-confidence, trust, and teamwork. Niki is there to help Dave if he needs it.
The tower has both easy and difficult tasks. Of course, "easy" is a relative term. If heights bother you, just climbing that first ladder is difficult.
The first platform is a safe haven for a quick rest before continuing. It gives you a chance to plan your route further - like Dave.
Subsequent tasks get a little more difficult - and a lot higher.
Dave has switched from the vertical pole climb to a slanted pole. He has to keep his climbing ropes from getting tangled as he nears the top.
When several students started asking Dave questions about his
prosthetic it turned into an impromptu class as he
demonstrated how his artificial leg works and is put together.
It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day. Everyone had a wonderful time and learned a little about the Abilities of people with disabilities.