RWC - Training in Joshua Tree National Park, CA

It was 4 a.m. as I was rolling up to Corey Reed’s place.  It was the last day of training before the multi-pitch climb in Yosemite.  Originally the plan was to climb outdoors with one of the Paradox Sports guides, but we were unable to put that together before the trip.  I was deeply concerned that without at least one outdoor run-through we could be in over our heads in Yosemite.

Corey was the fittest that I have ever seen him and I knew he could physically do it.  However, knowing all the techniques was a different matter.  Rock climbing is inherently dangerous.  Corey, who happens to be blind and an amputee, and me on the rock and trying to film him simultaneously, adds three times the complexity to the climb.  In thirty days we had to know how to climb, how to film on the rock and how to dial in all sorts of custom rigging for this adventure.  It weighed heavy on us.

As we rolled into Joshua tree we were super excited to have action sports photographer Michael Dorman (http://www.dormanstudios.com/) along for the RIDE.  We were on the rocks all day with Corey utilizing his new foot on loan from adaptive-climber Ronnie Dickson.  The foot came in just one day before the outdoor climb.

Things were starting to come together for us just five days before the Yosemite climb.  I had learned different techniques to ascend a rope.  Corey was getting training from Bob Gaines, Vertical Adventures Rock Climbing School.  Tony Grice and Eric Kramer-Webb were absolute pros in building our confidence for the Yosemite climb five days from now.  We felt totally prepared for our adventure but when we reached Yosemite we were about to find out everything we had prepared for was about to change…