Craig Demartino

After surviving a 100 foot groundfall in 2002, Craig Demartino went back to life on very uncertain terms. “My body and mind were so different, I didn’t know if I could, or wanted to ever climb again.” After moving past the feelings of just being happy to be alive, the rebuilding process began. Surges followed which screwed and plated his body back to a new “normal” but the mental game of deciding who this new person was, was just beginning. For the next 18 months, PT and surges would consume him and upon realizing his leg would never heal, he chose to amputate his right leg below the knee to get his quality of life back.

This presentation will focus on the accident as a catalyst that lead Craig too the life he leads today. Becoming an adaptive climber and teaching others about the power of climbing and being outside, became his life focus as well as climbing full time and travel with his family.
Learning to navigate the changes in his body and mind took years, and the first climbs after the accident were not just scary, they were mind altering.

“The first 8 years after the fall, I just wanted to see what I could do, in the climbing world, so thats what I focused on.”

A big thing he focuses on now, and talks about, is how we change and evolve through these circumstances that on the surface, seem horrific, but when you go deeper, become the things that really help us grow as humans. “I would never be doing the things I’m doing today in the climbing world if it wasn’t for that one event. It’s shaped me into the climber I am, and allowed me a platform to help other people who have been injured. In short, I wouldn’t change it for anything.”

Talking Points:

  • First Amputee to climb El Capitan in under 34 hours.
  • Leader of the First All Disabled Ascent of El Capitan
  • Two Time National Adaptive Climbing Champion
  • Two Time Bronze Medal Winner in the Adaptive World Championships
  • Leading Adaptive climbing clinics worldwide.