Spokane, WA. – April 23, 2016 – Nine children with special needs tackled the climbing walls at Wild Walls in Spokane on Saturday, April 23, 2016. Climbers made the trek from Fairchild AFB, Medical Lake, Spokane Valley and Spokane in Washington State as well as a climber who came over from Priest River, Idaho. The children that participated in the event had challenges ranging from autism to cerebral palsy.
Peter Springs gives a little guidance to Abby as she prepares to climb on of the wall at the Courageous Kids Climbing event held at Wild Walls in Spokane on Saturday, April 23.
The courageous climbers were coached by volunteers from throughout the Spokane metropolitan area as well as members of the Trinity Lutheran Church youth group from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Members of the Spokane Fire Department’s special operations team also supported the event. Two of the courageous climbers who had significant physical challenges were placed in special harnesses and raised along the wall so that they could see what it feels like to climb, an opportunity that they certainly would not have ever experienced outside of this event.
Spokane Fire Department Lieutenant Coldiron makes sure that Joshua makes it all the way to the top of the climbing wall during the Courageous Kids Climbing event held at Wild Walls in Spokane on Saturday, April 23.
After the climbing was over, the firefighters invited the kids outside for a personal tour of their fire apparatus.
The event was organized by Courageous Kids Climbing, an organization that provides free opportunities for children with special needs to experience the various forms of rock climbing. The organization has events scheduled in Washington, Idaho and California. The event was hosted by Wild Walls.
Event Coordinator Jeff Riechmann said, “This event was an overwhelming success! Anytime we can share a new experience with a child; conquer their fear of heights; or help them to learn how to focus a little bit better, we have been successful. We measure our success by the smiles on the kid’s faces and this event was obviously a success!”
Spokane Fire Department Lieutenant Coldiron helps Daniel get a firsthand feeling of what it is like to go rock climbing during the Courageous Kids Climbing event held at Wild Walls in Spokane on Saturday, April 23.
Riechmann added, “We already have parents asking about future events in Spokane. Wild Walls was an awesome host. I hope that we can take what we did here today and grow it, including Wild Walls in that growth.”
The next Courageous Kids Climbing event is scheduled for Saturday, May 7 and the University of Idaho Climbing Center in Moscow, Idaho. Like all of their events, it is free for any child with special needs. Additional events are currently scheduled for Idaho and California. For more information, contact Riechmann at [email protected] or visit the Courageous Kids Climbing page on Facebook.