Skip to main content

Adaptive Climbers Head to Championship

adaptive climbers
Image used with permission by copyright holder
She couldn’t know it at the time, but Kareemah Batts’ cancer diagnosis was going to change lives. It would inspire her to create the Adaptive Climbing Group, providing people with disabilities the support and training to climb, boulder, and compete at the highest levels.

In 2009, Batts was diagnosed with an extremely rare but aggressive form of soft tissue cancer called Synovial Sarcoma, which has a mortality rate of 70%. Batts was one of the lucky 30% who go into remission, but it came at a great cost: decreased lung function and half of her left leg was amputated. She had always been active and enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and camping in her youth. About a year after the amputation, Batts applied for, and received, a scholarship to the Colorado Mountain School where she was challenged more than she anticipated. But it was also that much more rewarding because of the difficulty.

Rock-climbing-2Renewed, she realized there were others who faced physical or developmental challenges that may seem like obstacles to the sport of climbing, but in fact, weren’t. So, in March of 2012 at Brooklyn Boulders gym, Batts held the first “NYC Adaptive Climbing Clinic,” where over two days, 38 adults with disabilities realized climbing was absolutely within reach. The clinic turned into a meet-up, and that meet-up quickly grew. More clinics were organized around the east coast transforming lives. The group’s name also transformed from NYC Adaptive Climbing, to simply Adaptive Climbing Group.

The International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) recognizes adaptive climbers and offer four categories of eligibility: Amputation/Limb Difference, Neurological (examples include Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, or traumatic brain injury), Spinal cord injury, and/or visual impairment that cannot be rectified by glasses. Batts and Adaptive Climbing Group are on the frontlines, helping people within all of these categories achieve their full climbing potential.

ACG championship teamAnd many times that includes competing at a championship level. In July, Adaptive Climbing Group took home seven medals at the US Climbing Adaptive National Championships. Seven Adaptive Climbing Group athletes have qualified for the IFSC Paraclimbing World Championship which will take place in France from September 14th through the 16th of this year.

If you’re in the New York area and want to support the Adaptive Climbing athletes in the World Championships, you can do so by partying on a boat! That’s right, September 10th you can party on the Hornblower Yacht. Leaving out of pier 40, the yacht will be filled with music, dancing, raffles, and both cash and open bars. All of the money raised goes directly to the athlete’s housing, food, and transportation.

Kareemah Batts and Adaptive Climbers are incredible role models for us all, reminding everyone to keep climbing.

Topics
Elizabeth Dahl
Elizabeth Dahl is a southern girl in the heart of Los Angeles who lived far too long before learning what an incredible food…
The Night Agent season 2: Everything we know so far
We'll get you ready for The Night Agent season 2!
Luciane Buchanan and Gabriel Basso in The Night Agent.

The Night Agent may not be everyone's choice to be among the best shows on Netflix, but it's in the top ten for us! The Shield creator Shawn Ryan adapted Matthew Quirk's spy action thriller, The Night Agent, for Netflix in 2023, and it proved to be a hit out of the gate. By Netflix's internal metrics, it's the sixth-highest viewed series in the history of the platform.

Those kind of numbers mean that a second season was inevitable, and Netflix made it official just over a week after The Night Agent premiered. Since the series is back in production, the details about what's coming up on the show have started to trickle out. To help you stay on top of this series, here's everything we know about The Night Agent season 2.
What is The Night Agent about?

Read more
The 10 best Dominican cigars I’ve tried and tested in 2024
Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

Every seasoned cigar lover has a preference for where their cigars come from. Cuban and Cuban cigars are the more obvious choices, but there is also Nicaraguan tobacco, Central African, Indonesian, Mexican, Ecuadorian, and Dominican. Some tobacco is even grown in the United States. Each region has a distinct flavor profile that adds a little something extra to the tobacco grown locally, as well as the cigars made there. The Dominican Republic is prized by many connoisseurs because of exactly this -- a rich, unique profile that enhances Dominican-grown cigars. That's in no small part due to the fertile soil and thriving climate of the region, which is ideal for tobacco growth and cultivation. If you've never tried a Dominican cigar, you're in for a real treat, there are some fantastic options out there.
The best Dominican cigars I've tried

Out of all the cigar guides I've put together so far, this one was one of the more interesting experiences for me. I had a great time trying out Dominican cigars, and I've definitely come away with an appreciation for blends made in the region. I'd also like to point out that Corey Suarez helped recommend some of these. If you haven't tried the JR Cigars or Cigars.com concierge service yet, you really should. Here's a little more about all of the best Dominican cigars I've tried:
Ashton Symmetry

Read more
The 12 best Connecticut cigars I’ve tried and tested in 2024
Best Connecticut cigars up close and personal

Connecticut cigars are the clear winner for smoking on a hot summer day, in the morning with some coffee, or when you just don't want a swift kick in the teeth (of pepper). There's no shortage of options, either. Connecticut shade wrappers are one of the most prevalent in the world of cigars, and it's certainly the most common natural shade. Maduro is also popular, but the two wrapper types couldn't be any more different. Connecticut wrappers, and by proxy Connecticut cigars, are typically mild to medium in strength and brimming with creamy, smooth flavors. They're composed of tobacco leaves grown in the Connecticut River Valley in the United States -- which is where the name Connecticut comes from. Consistent and flavorful, some of the best beginner-friendly cigars are Connecticut-wrapped, but you should never sell them short. A Connecticut shade cigar can be just as refined, elegant, and premium as any other. If you know where to look, you may even find some of your favorite blends in the category across a wide range of brands and cigar makers.

I'm about to take you on a magical, doughy, and delicious trek through the broad range of Connecticut cigars. In short, here are the best Connecticut cigars tried and tested by a genuine enthusiast of the craft: yours truly.
The best Connecticut cigars I've tried and tested
While the Connecticut Broadleaf wrapper is considered a Connecticut shade, I did my best to steer clear of recommending them for this list. They're better classified as a Maduro shade or darker cigar. That doesn't mean you should avoid them, quite the contrary. But for this list, I wanted to stick to smooth, relaxing smokes that are strong on flavor but not quite so strong on pepper and spice. I also tried not to choose a lot of repeats. If you see your favorite cigar missing, that might be because it was recommended on another list or it just didn't make the cut. If you have any recommendations of your own, I'm always available through social media or email. Without further ado, let's get this thing started.
Aganorsa Leaf Connecticut

Read more