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The 50 foot tall Alpine Tower Supersize

Alpine Tower Climbing for Amputees

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!

Dave wearing a safety harness Supersize
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 If Dave weren't wearing shorts you probably wouldn't know that his lower left leg has been replaced by a prosthesis.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.

Dave is belayed by a much lighter lady. Supersize
If Dave loses his grip while climbing he would not fall because of the person who is belaying him. Even though she weighs much less than he does, she keeps him from falling because of friction on the rope and log.

Niki is close to Dave to help if needed Supersize
The Alpine Tower builds self-confidence, trust, and teamwork. Niki is there to help Dave if he needs it.

The Tower starts with a ladder Supersize
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 haven. Supersize
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.

Pole climb with footholds Supersize
Subsequent tasks get a little more difficult - and a lot higher.

Dave, switching to a slanted pole Supersize
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.

Dave giving impromptu prosthetics class Supersize
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 lot about each other.

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