Malcolm Daly rock climbing
And now two years later, the Donini home had become a rallying point for the group, and I was the fortunate recipient of a great group of friends. This weekend Chad had driven down from Salt Lake City with Scott, Gena, and Sydney to get in as much ice climbing as possible in the Ouray Ice Park. We met at the 'Schoolroom' area in the ice park, where Mark Miller, the local San Juan Mountain guide had set up ropes for the climbers. Heidi, another local woman and last year's recipient of the "Got Stump" T-shirt joined us.
Each of their stories is inspirational. My friend Chad is an Iraqi war veteran who lost his foot when a IED exploded under his Humvee. In spite of the injury, he attacks the ice with the vigor and enthusiasm of a world class athlete.
Heidi lost her leg as a baby. I watched her the other night at the big party in her parents service station garage where the population of Ouray milled around three kegs of beer, a case of whiskey and tequila, and free food. She grabbed a friend in a screaming headlock, giggling and tickling. Watching her climb ice my face broke into a broad smile.
Sydney lost her leg at the age of 6 due to a bone cancer. She is a college student, enthused to climb with her best friends. She had the coolest crampon, and Chad constantly wanted to change feet with her. I accused them of having a foot fetish: "you only want her for her foot", or "Let me give you a little foot massage."
Paradox Sports had developed an ice-climbing crampon to fit on their prosthetic legs. They attach with an allen screw, so several types of devices can be used for the specific sport: rock climbing shoes, ice boots, crampons....