We all have excuses. However, some people find a way to ignore them
October 30, 2012 3:15 PM   Subscribe

Gimp Monkeys: 'We are climbers first, disabled second. If you're a climber, you want to climb El Capitan.' (SLV)
posted by growabrain (8 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Jesus. Now every time I take an elevator instead of climbing four flights of stairs, I'm going to feel like a whiny little asshole.
posted by mhoye at 3:57 PM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]

I think this exchange:
"...and then my leg just fell off."

"In the list of reasons to bail, that's probably a pretty good one."
qualifies as possibly the best deadpan ever. Even in context.
posted by straw at 4:13 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

Gimp monkey? Hah! Now this is a GIMP MONKEY.
posted by arzakh at 6:23 PM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I met Craig and Pete in the Curry Village showers just after they got down from the wall. Real nice and friendly guys. They were radiating such a powerful stoke I knew they had just gotten off something big and I started talking to them before I even realized they were disabled or that they had just pulled off something for the record books.

Being the first to accomplish something is a coup in climbing and the all-disabled part means that every pitch was led by someone missing a limb. Very proud send. (That's climberese for a really impressive accomplishment.)
posted by Manjusri at 7:44 PM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]

Wow: that was gripping and quite beautiful. See, this is why the Paralympics will soon be the bigger games; it's sports (i.e. exciting action plus attractive people to point cameras at), plus powerful human interest stories, plus sweet sweet tech.
posted by Ripper Minnieton at 9:33 PM on October 30, 2012

For all the Gimp Monkeys' amazing accomplishments (and they are amazing), I'm blown away by the fact that they sleep hanging out in space like that. How can you not be terrified of falling off such a tiny platform, or of having it come unmoored from the rock?
posted by Georgina at 10:13 PM on October 30, 2012

Georgina: When sleeping on a portaledge one is wearing a harness which is attached to a rope which is attached to the rock. So the likelihood of one falling off is pretty low (doesn't mean I am going to climb any big walls and sleep in one any time soon!).
posted by ruhroh at 10:17 PM on October 30, 2012

This is an incredible short film and an incredible accomplishment. The story of how Craig DeMartino's lost his leg is just shy of unbelievable. He told the whole saga on an episode of the (world's only?) climbing podcast: EnormoCast (available on iTunes as well). If you like this little movie, take the time to listen to the episode. It's a bit full of climbing lingo, but I don't think you'll have any trouble following it.
posted by that's candlepin at 8:46 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

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