"Shortly after moving to Colorado in 2014, I was involved in a train on cycle incident which resulted in the amputation of my right foot. After 5 years in the Marine Corps I didn't really relate with most traditional therapy methods. Climbing has exponentially improved my quality of life and has saved their lives of close friends after substantial mental and physical injuries sustained in the line of duty. After starting a rehab program, I found Paradox Sports and quickly took to climbing. Despite being new to the adaptive climbing scene, I’ve already earned a spot at Nationals in Atlanta to climb on the 2016 US Climbing Team in Paris - my first international competition! Climbing to me has been a constant reminder that you're only limited by the boundaries that you place on yourself, your life isn't over until you decide it is." - James Sceri
"Prior to the advent of social media and the Internet, I believed I was the only differently abled person in the world that climbed. Growing up, my friends and I invented techniques using a trial and error process, slowly (and sometimes painfully) learning how to climb one-handed. When it comes to setting new goals for myself, my philosophy is “bring it on.” Finding Paradox helped connect me with other climbers with the same credo: with enough grit, there isn't anything that can't be done. Climbing in a gym opened the doors to an easily accessible experience where I had the tools and support I needed to grow - as an athlete, and as a member of the climbing community. As a Paradox Sports Ambassador and competitive climber, I have won four national titles, and won the gold medal at the IFSC World Championships in Paris, none of which would have been possible without finding the adaptive programs at my local gym." - Maureen Beck
From team climber Sam Elias in Iceland, "Climbing ice can be extremely creative. with ice axes and crampons, you can go anywhere there is ice. You can do whatever movements you like. The glaciers and icebergs of Iceland allowed me to put this philosophy in play on vastly wilder features than I ever have. Classically, ice - waterfall ice, forms from flowing water and abides by gravity. The water conforms to whatever surface it contacts, or it hangs freely and vertically. Since the glaciers are a more permanent form of ice that is many thousands of years old, they can be shaped by water and wind erosion, much like rock. Therefore, the glaciers have caves and canyons, overhanging walls and crazy freestanding structures. Nearly every day in Iceland I climbed something special that I'll likely remember for the rest of my life. Here's one."
From team climber Hansjörg Auer, "The 'Blue Wall' of the huge Vatnajökull Glacier is the most eye-catching part from a climbers perspective. At the very end of the massive ice landscape floating down from the Icelandic higher plateau it breaks down for more than 100 feet in slightly overhanging angle.
Montae (25) Washington, DC: Just before I found out about City Kids Wilderness Project and went to Wyoming with them, I’d lost my older brother. At the time, I just needed a getaway from D.C. Being outdoors gave me time reflect. That’s one of the reasons I love it. I think if I’d never taken that trip I’d be all about business, because that’s D.C., but I realized there’s a whole world out there and you need to see it with your own eyes. I’ve learned a lot from those trips physically—I can kayak, navigate with a map—but emotionally I’ve learned even more. Like, how to be there for people. Now, I try to really see where someone is coming from when I talk with them, to be compassionate.
In response to threats to privatize public lands and rescind conservation laws, The North Face and our friends at Patagonia are each committing an additional $100,000 annually to The Conservation Alliance. We stand together on this because we believe – in the words of Edward Abbey – “wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit.” Funds will go toward education, advocacy, and a newly established Public Lands Defense Fund which gives grants to nonprofits working to defend public lands. #ProtectOurPublicLands
Scot Schmidt has been sponsored by The North Face since 1983, when he burst onto the scene to redefine what skiing could be. Since then, he’s been charging big lines and huge drops, and helped The North Face become the industry leader in technical ski gear. We caught up with him to learn how it all came to be.
VICE Sports travels to Lebanon with professional climber Sam Elias to face the dual challenge of exploring his family's heritage during a time of cultural and political upheaval, and climbing the toughest routes on Mount Lebanon. Join team athlete Sam Elias as he presents ROOTED. Learn more and purchase