Craig DeMartino has been a climber for the past 24 years. He climbs around the US and the world chasing routes of all types… In 2002 he was accidentally dropped 100 feet onto the talus of Rocky Mountain National Park which resulted in the loss of his leg, a fused back and neck, and a lifetime of chronic injuries. It is also what led him to Paradox Sports. He leads clinics for Paradox teaching other disabled climbers how to get back to climbing, and life, with humor, psych, and a love for their new “normal”. Craig was the first amputee to climb El Capitan in Yosemite in under a day, part of the team on the First All Disabled Ascent of El Cap, and a Bronze Medal winner in the Paraclimbing World Championships in France. He is a dad and husband and loves to spread his love of climbing to the world through our programs at Paradox. – Paradox Sports
Where are you based?
I am based out of the Front Range of Colorado. It has been a great place to live since it has about five world-class climbing areas within 50 miles!
Favorite Outdoor Sports?
Without a doubt I’m a climber, have been for 24 years. I do mountain bike a lot, it provides good cross-training and a whole new way to get hurt!
Whats your career now, and what inspired you to go after it?
I am a climber and host of a TV show on the Outdoor Channel called Fight to Survive. I wanted to be a pro climber ever since I started, and after a climbing accident in 2002 that resulted in the loss of my leg, a fused back and neck and a pretty long list of injuries, I returned to climbing. After some firsts in the climbing world in Yosemite and on the comp circuit, companies approached me to partner with them. Same with the TV show, they heard my story and asked if I wanted to host the show. Weird, but really cool how things work out.
Tell us about the best days on the job?
The first time I climbed El Capitan in under 24 hours was amazing, and winning the Paraclimbing Nationals last year was great too.
What’s the best thing about working in the outdoor industry?
Really the places I get to see and the people I meet and climb with. It’s such a cool thing to be bonded with so many folks around the globe through the outdoors.
What’s one of your bucket lists?
Paragliding! I think it would be amazing!!
What is your favorite gear right now and what would you recommend to friends?
My Evolv Shaman rock shoes, and ArcTeryx Atom Hoodie. The shoes climb everything from steeps to thin cracks great, and the puffy is small enough to fit in the top of my pack, but warm enough for chilly belays. I’m also a huge fan of Omega Pacific 5-0 Draws. They are nice and big and easy to clip when pumped.