First All-Disabled Ascent of El Capitan

Amputees use prosthetic climbing limbs

Caty Enders

Over the weekend, climbers Jarem Frye, Pete Davis, and Craig DeMartino completed the first all-disabled ascent of Yosemite Valley’s El Capitan, taking five days and four nights to scale the 3,000-foot wall. Davis and DeMartino led the 16-pitch route Zodiac (5.9 C3+) with Frye between them. “It’s a total ass-kicking, even if you have four limbs,” DeMartino said. “You have to go slow and take your time.” Frye, who lost his legs to bone cancer, designs prosthetic limbs for action sports, which he and DeMartino both use. The two climbers attempted the route last summer before turning back when Frye broke his prosthetic leg.

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