Yosemite National Park Partners with Paradox Sports on Historic Veterans Climb
Yosemite Veterans and 30 Disabled Veterans Plan to Summit Iconic Peaks in Commemoration ofSeptember 11
Yosemite National Park is hosting an event in which 30 disabled United States Military Veterans will climb several iconic peaks in the park, such as Half Dome and El Capitan. All of the climbers are expected to reach the summits of Half Dome and El Capitan onWednesday, September 11. Paradox Sports, a nonprofit organization with an emphasis on adaptive sports, brought the group to Yosemite for the multi-day event. The event is designed to honor all veterans and celebrate the achievements of people with disabilities.
Yosemite National Park has an active Special Emphasis Program for veterans of the armed services. The park currently employs approximately 105 veterans, representing all Divisions within the park. The program is a part of the Equal Opportunity Committee.
“The program is designed to educate, recruit, and employ veterans of the armed services in Yosemite National Park. We provide educational tools, help veterans obtain their benefits, and strive to provide overall guidance to the park’s veterans,” stated Dave Henderson, a Park Ranger, disabled U.S. Army veteran, and the Special Emphasis Program Manager.
Among the climbs being attempted by the group, a team of three will make the first all-veteran ascent of El Capitan. Other climbing routes include the East Buttress and Zodiac routes on El Capitan and the Snake Dike Route up to the summit of Half Dome.
Several Yosemite National Park Rangers will accompany the groups on the climbs. Other groups leaders include Timmy O’Neill, a professional climber and Executive Director of Paradox Sports and Heidi Wirtz, a professional climber.
An event commemorating the climbs was held in Yosemite Valley this morning. The group was joined by several Yosemite National Park employees and veterans.
Did You Know?
In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.