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Conquering climbing

LORY POUNDERsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox
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BRECKENRIDGE – After practicing edging on a short side of the wall, Caroline Willis was ready to climb to the top. On first try she made it, ringing the bell to sound her victory.

Caroline, a Summit High School senior, was one of six special needs students who spent Tuesday morning swimming and learning to climb at the colorful wall inside Breckenridge Recreation Center. While she conquered the challenge, two of her classmates, Kelly Faber and Cameron Stofflet, cheered from below.

“Everyone’s been really successful,” said Liz Grabowski, SHS student teacher who is also a certified climbing instructor at the recreation center. “We haven’t had one person not make it to the top. … Anyone can do this. If you can walk, you can climb.”

Grabowski, who put together the experience for the students, talked them through the steps, teaching them the necessary knot to hook onto their harness and having them practice the gross motor skills climbing requires.

Back at school, the students are also learning yoga, how to eat healthy and are training for the spring Special Olympics track and field events, said Rhonda Reichardt, special education teacher at the high school.”There are health benefits. These kids will be exposed to different recreation activities,” Reichardt said, adding that “some of them don’t get that exposure at home.”


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