My name is Stephen J. Wampler and I have a severe form of Cerebral Palsy and have chosen to live my life boldly. I want to share with you how Day 5 of El Cap during Wampler’s Ascent became a critical day. Specific to the summit of climbing El Capitan located in Yosemite National Park. In September 2010, I became the first person in the world with my condition to climb El Capitan. Day 5 of El Cap will be a day in my life I will never forget.
After passing out and hallucinating, because I was beyond exhausted on Day 4 from being challenged by the elements. I looked into the face of exhaustion and my mind decided to recover. I knew I needed to rest and get a great night sleep so I could finish the climb.
“You only get one chance at life and you have to grab it boldly.” – Bear Grylls
Day 5 of Wampler’s Ascent began with the fifth day of no sleep, but the motivation from a fellow climber explaining the rights of passage for being a world class climber helped motivate me. These feelings are normal for every climber he said. Because I was feeling restricted, exhausted combined with a very strong urge to get off the massive mountain of granite called El Capitan. Yes, it is massive. 3,200 vertical feet from base to summit. Day 5 was a day to remember. The stamina gave me the mental and physical strength to summit El Cap. We didn’t cover a lot of distance this dy because I was exhausted from the day before, we ended up the day on Peanut Ledge Bivy a small place where climbers can actually stand and enjoy incredible views.
Tenacity, persistence, endurance and mental stamina kept me moving forward. I was mad and knew we needed to make up time lost time from having passed out during Day 4. Day 5 I felt my inner strength come alive and took action to get off the mountain by gaining a lot of distance on Day 5.
When your day starts with to pulling yourself up 2-6 inches at a time on a massive granite rock knowing you will need to do a total of more than 20,000 pull ups to complete your overall goal believing in yourself becomes critical in accomplishing it. Day 5 was the turning point of how I summited El Cap on Day 6 allowing me to complete Wampler’s ascent.
Tenacity, perseverance and inner strength are what got me through the climb. Believing in myself that I could do the impossible when so many doubted me. It is with belief we put our heart and soul into our special needs camp called Camp Wamp located in Northern Lake Tahoe in Soda Springs.
A summer camp for children with physical disabilities ages (10-18). Camp Wamp provides life changing experiences to children with physical disabilities. We teach them to find their inner strength by surrounding them in the elements outdoors. Children with disabilities can do anything they want if they put their mind to it just as I did during Wampler’s Ascent. We are proud to inspire and motivate children with disabilities and provide a facility for disabled camping. For more information about Camp Wamp please contact us or visit our Camp Wamp website page www.campwamp.org. Watch this video on the magic Camp Wamp creates for children with disabilities.
/ˌserəbrəl ˈpôlzē/ noun
noun: cerebral palsy a condition marked by impaired muscle coordination (spastic paralysis) and/or other disabilities, typically caused by damage to the brain before or at birth.