The 2019 William "Bill" Shamback Award Winners
To someone with visual impairment or other disability scaling a rock climbing wall could be as daunting as climbing Mount Washington in the dark. But thanks to Brien Roccetti and Kristina Godfrey who host adaptive rock climbing clinics at their Wallingford rock climbing gym, Prime Climb, the daunting part is not trying. Brien owns Prime Climb. Kristina is the Prime Climb/Mountain Fun Manager and manages the center’s adaptive climbing program.
“For a person with a disability you need more than climbing shoes, a harness, belay device and a carabiner, Kristina said. “You need to visualize you can scale that wall. Our goal is to provide that challenge regardless of ability.”
“We adapt to blind climbers, a little girl with mild paralysis in her right shoulder (see photo) and sit climbers, who use a pull rig- like doing pull ups up a walls, “which is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen,” Kristina says.
“Rock climbing is such an inclusive sport,” says Brien. “An adaptive climber can climb with an advanced climber. At Prime Climb we’ve taken it to the next level and made a community out of it. Rock climbing is the fastest growing sport in the world. Since 1993, Prime Climb in Wallingford has been home to people who enjoy the fun and fitness benefits of rock climbing year-round, regardless of ability. And thanks to Kristina and Brien athletes in wheelchairs can still leave their feet.