53: Climbing El Capitan with Cerebral Palsy


Stephen Wampler is the first man with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. He created a stretcher and pulley apparatus that allowed him to pull himself up 2-6 inches at a time which equaled over 20,000 pull-ups over the course of his 6 day ascent. Stephen is also the founder of Camp Wheelchair Adventure Mountain Programs, or Camp Wamp for short. This organization sponsors children with disabilities to experience all of the fun activities of the great outdoors in Lake Tahoe, California. He empowers them to live beyond their disability. In this episode:

  • Growing up with Cerebral Palsy
  • Viewing disability with humor rather than shame
  • Outdoors is a challenging classroom to learn how to overcome the obstacles of life
  • Pushing through the fear of rejection and finding a wife and raising children
  • Camp WAMP – providing the ultimate outdoor experience for children with disabilities; helping the kids achieve more than they ever thought possible
  • The first person with Cerebral Palsy to climb El Capitan
  • Gym time = 6 days a week, 5 hours a day, 3,000 pullups at twice his body weight, everyday
  • Climbing 2000ft of El Capitan, 6 days to complete, 20,000 pullups, 2-6 inches per pullup
  • Getting back down the mountain with the help of Marines
  • Inspiring others with his climb and using it to grow his foundation

You can find out more information about Stephen and Camp WAMP at www.wamplerfoundation.org. Please contribute to this worthy cause or ask your employer to become a part of Project 120 at https://www.wamplerfoundation.org/donate.html. You can follow Stephen on Twitter and Instagram @stephenjwampler