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Keep up-to-date with the monthly activity recaps posted below. Back in the day, the KCCC periodically printed a newsletter called "OFF BELAY" in which members submitted essays and stories. Some of the issues were quite the professional undertaking! To get your boots dirty in the history of the Kansas City Climbing Club, head on over to the ARCHIVES to dig around. New articles will be posted as they become available. 

KCCC Holiday Party!

posted Feb 24, 2017, 9:40 AM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Feb 24, 2017, 9:49 AM ]

Hey, Community! 

On January 11th, the Kansas City Climbing Community hosted a potluck/party.  With more than 50+ attendees we had plenty of food, adult beverages, games, and most importantly - FUN.  The party was hosted at River Market and started at 6pm.  The community filled the venue up fast and it wasn't long before the room surged with laughter, climbing discussion, and dancing.  See some pictures below, taken by our Vice President.  


Special thanks:
-KC Cider Co. for donating some of their incredible, local brewed, cider!  
       -You can see their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/kansascitycidercompany/
-Kelly and Todd Walden for setup and coordination.

Thank you to everyone else who participated in the event!

Classic Series: History of the KCCC with Jim Grace & Friends

posted Dec 4, 2015, 12:14 PM by Kansas City Climbing Community

For the first presentation in the Classic Series, Jim Grace blew expectations out of the water by collecting a strong contingent of KCCC members from the early days for a little reminiscing. Mary Ashley recounted the stories for all of us who missed out on this rare event!

Wednesday night, the current members of the Kansas City Climbing Community (formerly Club) joined together with 7 members from the beginning years of the club (in the 1980s) to hear the history of the club and stories from the early days of climbing with the club. 

The club was founded in 1983 by Bob Allison and friends. As the memories unfolded from each of the members from that time, Bob Allison stood out as the star of their stories and the reason for many of their involvement in climbing. A generous man with a love for climbing and the community, Bob was the driving force behind the club and getting new people involved and keeping the community alive in Kansas City, despite the lack of resources at the time. In the absence of any gyms, climbing was done on stone buildings, the few rocks they could put top ropes on in parks, in sand masquerading as snow, woodies in people’s basements, and on frozen “slopes” on Jim Grace’s farm. Meetings began in the Backwoods on Broadway store, and eventually moved to the Salvation Army where they built what is believed to be the first public climbing wall in Kansas City.

Margaret, Pete, Steven, Bob, Kathy, Larry, Jim

After giving a brief history of the club, Jim Grace introduced the rest of the night’s speakers, and they each told us a story or a memory of the climbing club. Bob Scheier kicked things off with a warm speech about how inviting and wonderful the climbing community had been and still is, and how wonderful trips were with the club, whether they were to Arkansas or somewhere else. He mentioned the wonderful Christmas parties Bob Allison and his wife would throw every year,  and, along with Steven Fuller, told everyone about these glorious parties that they believed were the “glue” that held everyone together. Exquisite detail was paid to these parties, including Christmas lights strung up in the shape of climbers! As Bob mentioned, since this was before the days of Facebook and social media, meetings had to be done in person and those parties, along with the meetings, were how the climbers in Kansas City found each other – and stayed in contact.

The stories then moved to the trips that they had all taken together. Kathy While remembered climbing Mt. Rainier with Pete and others from the club, and how glorious but exhausting the summit was. She shared a touching memory of being so tired she just stopped at the top – 20 feet from the summit log! But Pete was there to encourage her on, and she made it to the register to sign her name. The theme of camaraderie and encouragement continues.

Pete told us all of a trip to Russia the club had taken in the mid-90s, shortly after the Soviet Union had fallen apart, with fascinating tidbits about the country in this time of change. Jim interjected an amusing story about Pete being able to chug beer while standing on his head, thus earning himself “beer god” status from the locals! Despite a slight fiasco concerning a tractor and a drunk bus driver, a missed flight, and a 22 hour ride to Moscow on an over-crowded train, they made their way back to KC and now have these wonderful stories to share with everyone!

Larry Neathery told of a multi-pitch he climbed during these years, explaining that he prefers to follow than lead. Halfway up, the leader went up over a roof then came back down, messed around, found the route, and the party of 3 made it to the ledge. When Larry got to the ledge, the other two were pointing out the next pitch to him, and he said “why are you telling me this? I’m not leading that!” then looked over at the shaking leader who said, “Yes, you are!” So up he went!

Margaret told us about moving to KC from the east coast, where she had hiked and climbed, and here had contacted the outdoor stores to find fellow climbers. She was hooked up with Shawna Allison and ultimately Bob Allison and the club. She then recounted a trip the club took to Ecuador, where they were able to climb two volcanoes! A question from the audience later revealed that one of those they had climbed, Cotopaxi, is currently erupting! So no club climbing trips to that volcano right now…

Jim Grace rounded out the night with a story of the World Record Attempt of climbing the highest points in the lower 48 states in one month.

A group of 5 of them took a flag with the KCCC logo on it to the highest point in all 48 states in 30 days--often summiting 5 peaks in a day. They drove to all of the points, and all 5 of them summited, successfully completing their goal and making it into the Guinness Book of World Records - the certificate of which he showed us at the meeting, along with that famous flag.

After their planned stories and memories were over, they all continued to share extra tidbits and memories and those of us in the audience just hoped they’d never stop! Alas, they did, although they were all gracious enough to hang around the store for a while and even continued on for drinks at Tomfooleries after, to continue to regale us with stories of climbing days past, how they got into it, and what they still do now.

Overall, the night was an incredible experience for those of us younger and “newer” to the sport and the KCCC to hear stories from the beginning of the club, of its founder Bob Allison, and of how much has or has not changed. The main purpose of the club seems to continue to be as it was initially envisioned – a place for all people with a shared love of the outdoors and of climbing to get together and find partners and like-minded people, to mentor and encourage newer climbers, to provide advice and gear and training to everyone regardless of skill level. The camaraderie among these 7 climbers, some of whom hadn’t seen each other in years, was still evident and I enjoyed imaging that being us one day, sharing our memories, but at the same time feeling like not a day has passed since our last adventure together!

Interview with Jim Grace

For everyone's reading pleasure, Mary Ashley also conducted a follow up interview with Jim Grace.


Did the High Point trip result in a book or film?
The high point trip did not result in a book by the leader Dennis Stewart, a longtime member of the KCCC.

The film was supposed to be an educational film about geography by Ken Bell Production Co, but it morphed into one of the first computer games called Road Scholar.  It was a lousy game and won’t play on a modern machine anyway.  We have hours of the old film footage on VHS tapes.  That was in 1991, almost 25 years ago.

What's your current involvement with the KCCC?

My current involvement in the club has been minimal as I live about 100 miles from KC and don’t visit the gyms much.  But I still enjoy hanging around with the seemingly unending supply of folks giving climbing a try.  The younger KCCC crowd has been very kind to me.  I am amazed at the climbing level of folks who have never been outside.  There are also a lot more women climbing now.  The younger crowd seem to appreciate the crags and have a respect for the land managers and adjoining landowners and seem to try and get along.

What would you bring back from the "good-ol-days"?

There is not much I would bring back from the old days.  The equipment is better and safer, there are gyms to train and more places to climb outside, the guides are better, etc.  I guess the only thing I would bring back is less traffic in some of the climbing areas and Parks.  It was pretty quiet climbing in the 70’s and 80’s. In the late 70’s we were putting up routes in Hueco Tanks and had our pick of lines and never saw another climber during the week.   Now you lottery just for entrance to the park.

What's your involvement in climbing nowadays?

I like all kinds of climbing but due to a shoulder problem don’t climb the super hard rock much.  I like mixed alpine routes.  This summer a former KCCC member and I climbed Mt Owen in the Tetons.  We bivied on the Teton  glacier in an amazing cirque at the base of the Grand, then we scrambled, climbed scree, snow, ice, and rock, to the summit.  It was my third try on Owen, the first failed by weather, and the second by rockfall, so success has never been certain.  I like that type of adventure with friends.

When's your next trip?

I will be climbing next week in CO National Monument and Unaweep with a former president of the KCCC who now lives in CO.  Unless the skiing is too good on the east side of the Rockies and I get distracted!

What is your favorite/most memorable/most epic/hardest climb?

My hardest day in the mountains had to be summit day on Denali.  12 mile round trip above 17,000’ was a long day.  Another long four days was the start of our high point trip.  Mt Rainier day 1, Mt Hood day 2, Boundary Pk day 3, Mt Whitney day 4.  We were tired puppies when we got down from Whitney.   

Epics….I have had a few minor ones, but I have never been seriously injured climbing.  Nearly killed by wild dogs in China, searched repeatedly by paramilitary in Nepal, lost and benighted in New Zealand, dining with Martha Stewart in the Wind Rivers, crevasse falls, and rockfall here and there, are all pretty good stories in hind sight.  But we did have a major epic on the Liberty Ridge route on Mt Rainier a few years ago when 4 of us nearly bought it.  It’s too complicated to describe here.  All the physical injuries, broken bones, etc have since healed, but the nearly severed rope section that held us above two thousand feet of death hangs above my desk as I write this.  Things can happen quickly!

Do you have any words of encouragement for other flatlanders who love the mountains?

Words of encouragement?..........You will probably climb happier and longer if you don’t take yourself too seriously.  Let’s face it.  Climbing a rock or a pile of rocks doesn’t help the world much.  It is not important.  That’s not to say it can’t be important to YOU as a great way to meet friends, stay in shape, see the country, test yourself, etc.  So go climbing when you get the chance, but take good care of your family, friends, health, and the planet….. first.

Thanks for letting me speak my piece.  Long live the KCCC!

Jim Grace



2.4 Seconds of Horseshoe Heaven

posted Nov 10, 2015, 1:02 PM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Nov 10, 2015, 1:11 PM ]

We had several KCCCer's place in the 12 hour and 24 hour event. Congrats!

The slip n slide setup went really well. The MC, Chris "Odub" Hampton, directed all winners in each event to first hit the slide prior to receiving the award.  It was an absolute blast watching everyone on the slide. Thank you to everyone who helped setup the slide this year. We had about 15 people help out and were able to set the slide up in about 45 min. Lessons learned:  we need to angle the last 25 of the slide to the right next year to avoid the mud puddle landing zone.



Thanks, again, to everyone who helped setup, tear down, or enjoy the slip n slide this year! It keeps getting better every year!

If you want a taste of what you missed at the after party, go here.
Competitor results can be perused here.
 
     Be DAREful out there.

Bryan & Carol
Pres & VP

Fall 2015 Updates

posted Sep 1, 2015, 9:57 AM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Sep 2, 2015, 7:54 AM ]

Hello KC Climbers!

I hope everyone is getting out and enjoying this incredible "summer" weather we've been having. As it gets cooler, we'll pick up our activity as a group, coming off of our summer hiatus. If you have ideas for events, clinics, or trips, hit us up. We love to hear what you guys want! Keep reading for an inside scoop of what we're looking at for this fall:

CLINIC Double Header - THIS WEEK!
Clinics are held at Monster Mountain from 7pm - 9pm. We will be on the far slab wall. There will be demo time and practice time. The wall is open for climbing from 6pm - 10pm, so show up early or stay late to climb. Mention the clinic for 1/2 price entry ($5.50). If you see Virginia, give her a big "thank you" for hosting us! All clinics are taught by me (Carol Fittell, VP).

#1 Anchor Cleaning
Wednesday, September 2nd

#2 Anchor Rigging
Thursday, September 3rd

24HHH - Slip N Slide
For our 3rd year in a row (the 10th anniversary of Hell) we will be hosting a slip-n-slide at the 24-hour climbing competition held at Horseshoe Canyon Ranch near Jasper, AR called 24-Hours of Horseshoe Hell; or just "Hell".

Local Teams: we want YOU to wear our tattoos! And we want to recognize you guys on our website. KC always makes a strong showing, so, if you're not competing, head on down to root on the climbers and enjoy the festival-like activities anyway! I already have a list of 16 teams (32 mates) participating in either the 12 or 24-hour comp. If you see me before then, I'll have tattoos with me, so hit me up! (Tattoos are $1 each for any non-competitor who wants to rep the KCCC!)

"Local" Competitor List
Jean & William
Scott & Jon 
Chris & Andy
Tarik & Todd
Spencer & Kyle
Ida & Morgan
Natalie & Dick
Ryan & Dakota
Taras & James
Megan & Marcus
LadyVee & Tommy 
Kirk & Jon 
Krista & Walter
Allison & Britt
Cameron & Marc
Robyn
 & Andrea
Jeremiah & Nik

VOLUNTEERS: To run the Slip N Slide we need volunteers for setup and tear down. Shoot us a message to commit, and Bryan or I will get you more info on when to be and where.

Fall Trip(s)
Likely held in October or November. Shoot us a message with your date and location preferences. Camille and I will also host a Ladies' Trip, although for that one I decide the date and location, but suggestions are welcome.

Membership Cards & Paraphernalia
If you need to renew your membership, officers can take cash or check, or you can pay on our website. Ambassadors Peter Chollet (Ibex) and Aaron Cochran (Monster Mountain) can also sell memberships. We also have stickers for $1 each, tattoos for $1 each, and t-shirts for $21, which can also be paid for on our website.

Other Possible Events

1. AMGA Certified Courses (Climbing Courses with Vertical Voyages)
Jon Richard with Vertical Voyages, based in the Midwest, has offered to bring a class to KC at a discounted rate. Jon has been guiding and teaching climbing for over 10 years and is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. He is also a Rock Warriors Way trainer. The Warriors Way address how to use our attention more effectively while climbing.  This specifically helps climbers deal with fears, better understand fall consequence, and helps climbers trust their body to climb with less mental interference.

If we garner enough interest, we could bring him in for a course on SELF RESCUE, the ROCK WARRIORS WAY, or some other pertinent topic. Alternatively, you are welcome to hire him out as a private guide as well! His contact info is on the "Membership" page of our website. Shoot us an email (or talk to one of us) if you support bringing Jon to KC!

2. Raven Rocks Trail Building
Thank you, again, Dakota, for all your efforts to make Raven Rocks an awesome new locale for local climbers! While the climbing may be super fun, the approach is currently not. A single work-day could significantly improve the access while simultaneously being an enjoyable day with climbers and a bit of climbing.
VOLUNTEER: We could really use a volunteer to spear-head this project. Preferably someone with a little trail-building expertise (or at least willingness to do some research).

3. REEL Rock
Backwoods (RIP) has previously hosted REEL Rock (a climbing film fest of sorts), and we're hoping someone else in the community will step in to keep it coming to KC. We'll post more when we know more. If you want to make sure to see these inspirational climbing films, head on down to 24HHH for a viewing included with your weekend pass.

NEW GYMS
So many new gyms in the area; so much PSYCH! Check them out on facebook for the most up-to-date information.

1. Apex Bouldering Gym - Open Now - Grand Opening TBA
7200 W 106th St
Overland Park, KS 66212
​​
$11 day pass for Bouldering


2. Ibex West - Open Spring 2016
Location TBA
Overland Park, KS
Same amenities as Ibex, but a newer/better facility!

3. RoKC - Opening this winter?
1501 HowellNorth Kansas City, MOIn search of (preferably certified) head route setter.
All inclusive climbing, training, and cross-training gym.
Ground breaking ceremony held 8/18/2015.

I'm slowly posting old newsletters, so read what the club used to be like, way back in the 80's! ​I've posted the newsletters from 1984 which includes club rosters and a hand-drawn guidebook. My how things have changed! Thanks to Jim Grace for hoarding all these old copies!

GRANTS
Cliff Drive Grant
We (Bryan) has applied for a second round of the American Alpine Club and REI grant we received last year for extending the retaining wall and managing the draining issues at Cliff Drive. We'll know in a few months if we're getting it or not.

Anchor Replacement Grant
We're also applying for an newly minted Anchor Replacement Fund through the American Alpine Club (AAC) and the Access Fund (AF) for Warsaw, Missouri. As climbing hardware is starting to age, it's up us as the community of local climbers to maintain our local crags. That said, it's still each individual's responsibility to asses the risks they're willing to take. Next time you see someone who bolts, give them a hug and a big thank you for their passionate, exhausting, thank-less work.

Farewell!
Carl Brockhoff, who has served as the KCCC Secretary for the last few years, has accepted a position as Youth and Education Director with two churches in the Denver Metro area. This means that he is, unfortunately, resigning his position with the Kansas City Climbing Community. We are sad to see him go, but wish him and his family the best of luck and good climbing in Colorado.

Leadership Opening
If you are interested in joining KCCC leadership as Secretary, shoot us a message!

​Happy Climbing! ​

​Carol Fittell​
​Vice President
Kansas City Climbing Club

Movie Night @ The Cave

posted Mar 24, 2015, 3:18 PM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Mar 24, 2015, 3:24 PM ]

Movie Night at The Cave turned into quite the technical difficulties fiasco, but we finally managed to settle down and enjoy a few climbing clips. Unfortunately we weren't able to watch videos that you can't find online, but hopefully you'll enjoy these anyway!

Bryan's Choice was the Petzl RocTrip China 2011

Carol's Choice was A Perfect Circle with Steph Davis
A Perfect Circle w/ Steph Davis

Happy Climbing!

Carol Fittell
Vice President

Partner Wanted

posted Feb 17, 2015, 12:56 PM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Apr 29, 2015, 1:30 PM ]




Thanks to Dakota for sharing a little snippet of his adventures from last fall. Below is his presentation followed by two short summit videos. To read more about his thoughts on finding a climbing partner, The Climbing Zine published his article "The Art of Roping Up with a Rando".





Higher Spire Summit


The Pulpit Summit


MEETING MINUTES

More than 30 people showed up for Dakota's presentation at Moosejaw. Other meeting topics included a review of our upcoming events and plans for the spring as detailed below:

Movie Night?

TBD, Weeknight in March
@The Cave Bouldering Gym
Get psyched for the climbing season by watching sick climbing videos with the camaraderie of local climbers.

Clinic: Rappelling Skills

Wednesday, March 4th at 7:00pm
@Monster Mountain in Overland Park
$6 for climbing & clinic, wall open 6pm-10pm.
Virginia (MM's Wall Manager) has been gracious enough to let me teach another clinic on her wall. We'll be going over safety knots, double-rope rappels, backup friction hitches, and rapping with a pack. We'll have stations set up for practice. Bring your own equipment if you have it, I'll bring extras in case you don't. This clinic is especially good for sport climbers looking to expand their skills in trad or multipitch.
If you have other clinic suggestions, send them our way!

Climber Olympics

TBD, Weekend-day in April
@Monster Mountain in Overland Park
Details are yet to be hashed out, but we're looking at grilling in the parking lot, climbing at Monster, and hosting a miniature climber-olympics with climbing and non-climbing related games/competitions. All participants gain entry to win a rope!

Partner Event: Everest Expedition

Tuesday, April 21st, 7:00pm
@Linda Hall Library, KCMO
Pro climber Conrad Anker & Dr. Johnson will discuss their studies involving the effect of altitude on the human body. Event is free, but tickets must be reserved in advance:
https://lhl.z2systems.com/np/clients/lhl/eventRegistration.jsp?event=24&

SPRING TRIP

Tentatively: May 1st - 3rd
@Horseshoe Canyon Ranch
Date and location are tentatively set. If you have any strong objections, send them this way! VOLUNTEER COOK NEEDED: if you are interested in making sure the burgers not only arrive at the campsite, but are also cooked, please send us a message! (For those unaware, Bryan may have forgotten the beef at Jackson Falls...)

Pool Party

June
@Shoal Creek Valley HOA Pool, hosted by KCCCer Ed Fehlig
It's been a while since we've celebrated summer this way, but it's always a good time when you mix climbers with water.

While a lot of these plans are tentative, I just wanted to give a heads up for the fun things we have planned this spring. Other exciting things we have going on include accepting our AAC Cornerstone Grant and starting work on the erosion control stabilization for the base of Cliff Drive. We'll send out work days once we get them scheduled.

On the website, I'm slowly uploading scanned versions of KCCC's old "Off Belay" Newsletters to an archive section of the website. The KCCC officers and members of old put a lot of time into those newsletters and a lot of the articles are still interesting reads today. Please check them out!

Finally, please buy T-Shirts ($21) and Stickers ($1)! We are out of small shirts, but still have plenty left in the larger sizes of both the poly and the poly/cotton blend. I generally have all this with me at Monster Mountain on Tuesday nights, so drop on by and interrupt my climbing--I promise I don't mind... too much!

To quote Jeremy Collins, "Be DAREful out there!"

Carol Fittell
Vice President

Annual Holiday Party!

posted Jan 13, 2015, 8:47 AM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Jan 13, 2015, 8:48 AM ]

Thanks to Rob Rice for hosting, the Annual Winter Party was a huge success! KCCC provided wings (made by Carl) and a Keg of Free State Copperhead Pale Ale to start off the festivities. The potluck style quickly erupted in an array of tasty snacks, filling Rob's kitchen. Many shirts were sold before things got too crazy. If you would like to buy a shirt, I (Carol) have all of them, so contact me to pick one up! We have both 100% Polyester shirts, and a super-soft cotton/poly blend.

Babies, puppies, and party people!

Thanks to Moosejaw, we raffled off a 10.2 Sterling 60m rope. All of the raffle money went to Chuong to help with his recovery costs from the terrible accident he and Erin were in. Together, we raised $460. Thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets. While the rope has officially been given a new home at Rob's, donations can still be made at the link below:


 As the night went on, a dance party emerged in the darkness of Rob's living room. Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate. We wish everyone an exciting year of climbing ahead!


Cheers to a new year!

Carol Fittell
Vice President

Happy New Year!

posted Jan 5, 2015, 11:15 AM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Feb 10, 2015, 8:07 AM by Carol Fittell ]

I would like to wish the best of luck for all of your 2015 climbing objectives. Once again, I hope this new year brings a new level of most excellent climbing stoke to everyone.

Picture By Rob Rice

Here is a look back at our club accomplishments in 2014:

  • January: KCCC Annual Holiday Party at the Strength Lab
  • February: Backwoods Slideshow (Squamish and the Bugaboos)
  • March: Moosejaw Meeting: Rock Climbing Arkansas Slideshow
  • April: KCCC Ladies' Trip to Sam's Throne, AR
  • May: HCR Spring Trip (an unforgettable team building contest and amazing burgers by Peter and Liz)
  • June: Gear Swap & Potluck @ Rob Rice’s home
  • July: Logo Submissions, Summer Break
  • August: Ibex Meeting: Knotty Games
  • September:
    KCCC sponsored Slip N Slide at 24HHH
    KCCC Ladies' Trip to Fern, AR
  • October:
    Fall Climbing Trip: Sam’s Throne, AR
    Received notification of an award for the AAC Cornerstone Conservation Grant
    KCCC Shirts and Stickers
  • November/December: Holiday Break
  • Three new routes were put up at cliff drive by a very hard working member of our community: Dakota Waltz. In addition to Cliff Drive crag cleanups and routine maintenance in 2015, we will be resolving an erosion issue at the base of the main climbing area at Cliff Drive. The KCCC will be presented funds from the Cornerstone Conservation grant sponsored by REI and the AAC in 2015. We can’t wait to kick off this project.

Again, I'm extremely thankful to be a part of the great leadership team that we have for the club in 2015! If you have any good ideas, please email them to the kcclimbingclub@gmail.com or Facebook one of the leaders (Carol, Ryan, Carl, or myself).


Bryan
El Presidente

Accidents Happen

posted Dec 15, 2014, 9:51 AM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Dec 15, 2014, 10:35 AM ]

As many of you are aware, there have been two major accidents associated with members of our community in the past month. For one, it was a climbing accident, for the other two it was an automobile accident. Below are their stories and contact information for sending them support and positive vibes.

Dick Dower

A CAUTIONARY TALE:

I had been working out for about an hr and a half on the autobelays, and already had gotten seven of the eight 5.11's. The only thing left on my agenda was the one 11+ that I hadn't topped out on yet. Unlike the rest of my workout, I was doing single burns on that one route without unclipping. I thought if I took a good rest I would try one last time, so I unclipped. For that last burn, I neglected to clip back in. The crux move is at the very top with right foot way out right, even with the right hand. The right handhold is a slopey rail with golf-ball dimples on it. The left hand was even lower, also on a sloper. The move was to bump the right hand up to a horizontal-sloper-tongue-pinch. I couldn't hold the pinch so my hand came off before my right foot, thus I fell horizontally, thankfully. So, there's the play by play of how it happened.

Even though my body was numb at first, feeling and movement came back fairly quickly, except for my hand and arm. I was rushed to the trauma center where they did CT scan and MRI. Upon examining them, the neurosurgeon, Dr. Perry, determined that there was nothing broken and the spinal cord was intact. He wrote up papers for my release with instructions to make and appt with him in three days, but I began to show signs of shock so they decided to check me in and observe me. They determined that my pain and weaknesses were due to swelling so they gave me steroids and decided to wait a couple of days to see if it would change when the swelling went down. They decided to send me to a rehab hospital after a couple of days, we signed the papers and were going to load up on a van in 15 minutes when Dr Perry came by to check in with me. He asked if I had seen any improvement and I told him that actually my mobility had gotten worse. I couldn't lift my arm the way I could the day before. I was also experiencing intense pain in both arms. The doc thought about it for a minute, and decided that less mobility means that something besides swelling was going on, and he recommended surgery. He wanted to do it the next morning, Thursday, but couldn't get an OR room so he booked it for Friday morning.

The morning of surgery, two orderlies came to move me from the hospital bed to the gourny that would take me to the OR. One was a tiny lady and the other was a pretty big guy, and they weren't in sync. They put a slideboard under me and moved me violently, causing the most intense and horrible pain I have ever felt in my life. This pain and the blood curdling screams, lasted for the entire trip to the pre-op and continued for another tortuous 15 min or so while they got me ready for anesthesia. The anesthesia was my only relief.

Later we found out that the MRI that the doc had did not sync up with what he was presented with when he went in to operate. Something had changed since the MRI.

The vertebra in my neck were no longer in line but offset by 50%. Alarmed, the doc lined them up, replaced the discs with cages filled with bone growth hormone and stabilized it with a titanium plate. Bone will grow in them and fuse three vertebra together. We were told later that that amount of offset often results in lower body paralysis. The doc also did the procedure he had originally intended to do which was removing calcifications and bone spurs in the vertebra that were pinching the nerves. The entire operation was done through an incision in my throat to the left of his adams apple. It took 3 hours and during that time, everything in my neck was pulled aside including my esophagus. Recovery was scary for Nat but I was out of it. The doc told her initially that I couldn't move anything on my left side. Then he later reported to her that everything was moving.

Results of surgery as of now: Regained full motion everywhere except left hand and right arm. These areas have feeling but limited motion. Doc thinks there could likely be a full recovery after PT and time. Also, I can't swallow anything due to my esophagus being pissed off that it was pulled aside for so long. That should come back in the next day or two. Thank you for all the love, support, positive vibes and prayers. Especially thanks to Natalie.

Written November 23rd by Natalie, dictated by Dick.

A card and a copy of this year's Reel Rock: Valley Uprising have been sent to Dick from the KCCC to aid in his recovery.

Pictured: Dick soaking up some mental recovery with a visit to Red Rocks on December 13th.

 DickDowerRevering

Erin Tomkins & Chuong Doan

Jeremy Collins' notification via the KCCC facebook page:

Guys, over the last year I have had the absolute pleasure of watching Erin Tompkins and Chuong Doan fall head over heels in love with climbing. I have loved our times bouldering together with Chuong's ridiculous energy and humor, and Erin's consuming desire to learn. I know many of you have here as well.

Two days ago Chuong and Erin were in a horrendous car accident due to someone else's negligence. I don't use the word horrendous lightly. Chuong is in critical condition and has numerous broken bones and internal injuries also. Without too many details, Mister Fit is down right now. Very down. Erin's injuries are minor compared to his but she is in ICU as well. All they need right now is support from our community.

Please consider sending well wishes - notes and cards and prayers are requested online and at:
Chuong Doan/Erin Tompkins
C/O Saint Lukes Hospital
MST/ICU
4401 Wornall Road,
Kansas City, MO 64111

Posted December 10th.

Donations can also be made via this website setup by Chuong's cycling team:
The KCCC will also be raising funds for Chuong and Erin via a rope raffle at the Annual Winter Party on January 10th at Rob Rice's home.

Pictured: Chuong and Erin at Ibex, pre-accident.
Chuong & Erin pre-accident.

STAY SAFE EVERYONE

OFF BELAY - Spring 2006

posted Dec 15, 2014, 9:20 AM by Kansas City Climbing Community   [ updated Dec 15, 2014, 9:49 AM ]

Kansas City Climbing Club Newsletter

Did you know that the KCCC used to have a Newsletter? While that portion of the club has been phased out (and hopefully adequately replaced by facebook and this website) some of the stories from years past are quite spectacular! Thanks to Mark Hermansen, this Spring 2006 newsletter is now available online! There are also plans in the works to get more of the old newsletters scanned and added to an archive section of the website.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_5B9_Agqe2GZ0d1UEV5ZExfc25fVWdiUGE4czFSSzJOenlv/view?usp=sharing

Enjoy!

Carol Fittell
Vice President

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