www.craigdemartino.com


Date of birth:
1965.09.13
Hometown:
Reading Pennsylvania, USA
Sponsors:
ArcTeryx, Evolv, Blue Water Ropes, Omega Pacific, Skratch Labs, Julbo,
Hobbies:
Climbing
Favourite athletes:
Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, Felix Baumgarten

BIO

I grew up in PA and didn’t start climbing until college. Once I started, my life took another direction completely, I climbed as much as I could, and moved to Colorado in 95 so that I could be closer to the mountains.

While rock climbing in 2002, through a series of miscommunications with my partner, I fell 100 feet and hit the ground standing. For perspective, that is the equivalent of a ten-story office building. Although I survived, I sustained compound fractures of both ankles, a fractured neck, a burst fracture in my spine, and a rare nerve disorder brought on by the trauma. The road to recovery was long. After multiple surgeries, including a spinal fusion, I decided to amputate my right leg in hopes of returning to climbing and regaining my life.

I returned to climbing, three months after the amputation surgery and began the long process of rebuilding my body and mind.


CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

  • 2006: First Amputee to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan in under 24 hours
  • 2007: First Amputee to climb the Nose of El Capitan in a Day
  • 2010: Lead the First All Disabled Ascent of El Capitan via Zodiac
  • 2012: Bronze Medal winner in the Paraclimbing World Championships in Paris France
  • 2013: ABS National Paraclimbing Bouldering Champion
  • '14-'15: Current National Paraclimbing Champion
  • '14-'15: Bronze Medal Winner in the Paraclimbing World Championships, Gijon Spain

INTERVIEW 2014.12.05

What are you looking for to accomplish?

Right now I’m trying to climb routes at the top end of my ability. Having recently come back from the World Championships, I feel fit and good pushing my personal limits.

"DeMartino Craig"

What would be your greatest achievement?

I guess the things I’ve done in Yosemite stand out for me, those routes are some of the best I have done anywhere. Also, staying married to the same great lady for 18 years is pretty badass too.

What kind of difficulties does your sport’s performance involve?

Climbing is a full body sport, we have to use every part of ourselves to get up some of these routes. Factor in the limits my body has after the accident and you end up having a pretty full cup. That being said, I wouldn’t change it for the world!

"DeMartino Craig"

What makes you feel satisfied when performing your sport?

Just being out with my wife or friends, enjoying the places we get to see is pretty amazing and I never get tired of it.

Where do you practice your techniques when being alone?

Training for me is done in a climbing gym and on a mountain bike to compliment the climbing I do. I also do yoga for some flexibility, but mostly I train to climb by climbing.

What do you do during your training which is key to your success?

I train a mix of power and endurance. With out each other, the climbs can never happen, but when I can get the two working together perfectly, that’s when good things happen.

What are you most nervous about when competing?

The World Championship stage is huge, we climb in large arenas full of people and it can be really nerve racking. I’m not used to climbing in front of crowds so it always takes me a bit to get used to it again.

"DeMartino Craig"

Who would you say is your biggest fan and why?

My wife, no doubt. She has been with me through the really deep valleys and the high mountain tops as well. Always supportive and always my best friend.

She’s awesome.

What is the best piece of advice you have been ever given?

“Don’t take any of this too seriously. It’s supposed to be fun.” That was told to me by an old climber when I was young, and it really makes sense.

"DeMartino Craig"

What are your future plans?

I want to return to Yosemite in the spring or fall and get back on El Capitan again. I love being there, and missed last season. I’m also heading to Croatia with my wife and kids to put up some new routes and work with some amputee kids.

What are your tips for those who begin now?

“Don’t take any of this too serious, it should be fun.” That being said, try hard, push yourself, and learn everything you can on safety.

"DeMartino Craig"