The Active Amputee Autumn Special: Enock Glidden Week - part III

Enock's climb up Astroman was a major group effort, often depending on the kindness of strangers (picture courtesy of Enock Glidden)
Enock's climb up Astroman was a major group effort, often depending on the kindness of strangers (picture courtesy of Enock Glidden)

The Enock Glidden special

Wow, what an unbelievable feat: Climbing Astroman in the Yosemite valley, using fixed ropes and several thousand pull-ups. Today Enock lets us in on his thoughts when coming back from his first trip to California.



Thank You Just Isn’t Enough

I am back in Maine and am at a loss as to how to thank everyone for the opportunity I was given and the people that made it possible, mostly strangers, but came away as friends. The sadness comes from missing my second family of climbers and the beauty of Yosemite.


I am amazed at the kindness of the climbing community. When you are a climber it is like having a second family. There are always people willing to help you meet your goals and to just be a friend when needed. I have many amazing memories to take with me from this trip from meeting famous climbers and being treated as a friend to spending lots of time at El Capitan bridge just hanging out and learning from the various climbers who spent time there. I also spent time just watching deer in the water below the bridge and taking in the unbelievable scenery of the Valley. I have a memory of the one night I spent in a tent in Camp 4 and it poured all night and using my raincoat to cover my wheelchair. Thank God Sean O’Neill pushed me to buy that coat, haha. I would have had one wet day sitting in that chair the next day if not for that coat. Also, I don’t ever want to do that again if I can avoid it, haha. I am also very grateful for Mash Alexander allowing me to stay with him in his tent/cabin for the other nights I was there. That one night in the tent made me so much more grateful. Skiy Detray, Ken Kreis, Adam Fisher, Maddy Pickering, Nathan Pacheco, Kiyoko Davis, Craig Muderlak, Nick Sullens, and Christian Cattell also were extremely integral to making my goal happen even if it did change. They helped me train and helped me climb Astroman on 'The Column'. There is no way it would have happened if they were not a part of my life and I hope they all will be for many more climbs in the future. There are also about 20 other people that I failed to get the names of who carried me for close to 2 hours into the base and then back out after the climb that deserve a huge thanks.


Over time I started to become known to the people in the Valley and it felt like I had a second family. I couldn’t go anywhere without someone saying ”Hi Enock!” I will miss that about Yosemite. Everyone is very friendly. I also found friends that didn’t see me as the guy in the wheelchair but as another climber who needed direction and knowledge that could only be found by visiting the Mecca of climbing.


I came away from this trip with a vastly different outlook on climbing and what is involved in undertaking an expedition, such as climbing a big wall. I am very grateful for the people that spoke up and said hey you need to do this and this before you do a big wall so let’s try something else so we can figure things out. Come back another time when you have it dialed in and that is exactly what I am doing.


I already have chosen some of the things I will need and in the near future will hopefully acquire everything for a possible ascent of Zodiac on 'The Captain' in the spring if not then fall.


There is one more “Thank You!” that needs to be said. I want to thank everyone on Facebook and on my blog for the kind words of encouragement and comments that made me feel really great about what I am doing.


For those that felt I am inspirational to them, I would like to encourage you to be inspired to get out and try something you have always wanted to because when you try something happens. It may not be what you expected but if you keep trying you will reach whatever goal you set out to achieve. So just think to yourself what I most want to do in life and then set small goals to get there. I would love to hear about anything you do try and anything I inspired you to do.


Now that I am back home it is time to start training even harder and planning the next big thing. It may be Mt. Rainier or there may be something big before that. It is now time to focus and get things done.



Guest post by Enock Glidden. As a person growing up with Spina Bifida, Enock had to develop his own ways to do things from an early age onwards. He is an accomplished rock climber, is involed with Pradoxsports and shares his adventures on his blog 'Go Beyond The Fence'. .