“everyBODY” can climb
For more information, volunteer opportunities, or to sign up for an adaptive climbing session, please contact our Programs Manager, Patty McFarling.
OFFICE: (208)329-7257 ext. 3
About Our Program
Gemstone Climbing was the first fully ADA (American Disabilities Act) accessible climbing gym in the world. Today, other gyms are providing similar facilities and we applaud them.
Our Adaptive Climbing Program was launched in October 2019, with inclusivity in mind to allow individuals of all abilities to experience the sensation of being on top of the world. We are providing some of the most advanced and effective “therapy ” for individuals with disabilities from:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Traumatic brain Injury
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Spina Bifida
- Hearing and Vision Impairments
During our clinics hosted at Gemstone Climbing Center, the participants with physical, cognitive, and social disabilities interact with an expanding volunteer base of medical and climbing professionals to give our fellow climbers an opportunity to break down barriers and become adventurers. Through interactive and engaging clinics, participating challenged athletes can grow as individuals. Our goal is to assist in the development of each adaptive climbers confidence they need to reach their personal and fitness goals.
All equipment is provided at Gemstone Climbing Center to get “everyBODY” on the wall.
Benefits of Adaptive Climbing
Climbing is a full body workout, from your fingertips to your toes. This beneficial activity does not only aid in strength building and working on fine and gross motor skills, but also aids in the development or enhancement of the vestibular system (balance), proprioception (spatial awareness), and is a tactile and visually stimulating activity.
- Eye-hand and eye-foot coordination is practiced
- Bilateral coordination of upper and lower extremities
- Range of motion activities can increase flexion / extension, which helps prevent muscle atrophy
- Climbing, at whatever physical level possible, provides body movement that can increase circulation and assist in digestion
Climbing is an inherently a social sport, whereas you need at least two people to engage in the activity. The climbing community in the Magic Valley is growing and there are more resources for individuals of all abilities to use to find programs and climbers like themselves to join.
Problem solving is naturally incorporated into climbing as the climber must solve the “puzzle” of the route and determine hand and foot placement through the climb to make it to the top.
- Decision-making is involved as climbers will be faced with choosing a particular path and following through with their decision.
- Facing the climbing wall and constantly scanning the wall for the next hold to reach for can help take away auxiliary distractions and increase attention,
- This helps children think sequentially
- Climbers are better able to focus and attend to cognitive tasks after they have been able to use their whole body in activity.
- Climbing allows for independent movement. Climbers who have autism may not like physical contact and this is an activity that caters to that characteristic
- Cross-curricular activities invite written communication; for example, by finding letters or spelling words on the climbing wall
- Receptive language can be targeted as children listen and process verbal direction by a teacher or another child; for example, which color hand hold to reach for
Climbing promotes positive mood and mental well-being while combating boredom, anxiety, and stress. Climbing also aids in increasing self-esteem and positive coping skills.
Grant & Scholarship Information
We believe money shouldn’t stop someone from reaching their climbing dreams. Therefore, we want to make our adaptive climbing program affordable and available to challenged athletes. Gemstone Adaptive Climbing has partnered with Challenged Athlete Foundation (CAF) to make this a possibility. CAF’s mission, “is to serve people with physical disabilities through sport and fitness with meaningful grants. Over the last 27 years, we have given over 30,000 grants to individuals with permanent physical disabilities worldwide.”
The grants that are rewarded by CAF to each challenged athlete will assist in providing climbing gear (harness, shoes, chalk), climbing sessions, and coaching.
Challenged Athletes Foundation: Grant Application
Click here: cafgrant_21 (webportalapp.com)