Miley Cyrus’ song entitled “Climb” describes the act of climbing as an uphill battle involving a possibility of losing. According to the song, it’s not how fast one can accomplish it or what is waiting on the other side or at the top – it is merely the joy of climbing. Miley sings about taking chances that might knock her down, but she won’t break in the face of the challenge, she will just keep going, stay strong and keep pushing.

In essence, mountain climbing has become the ultimate test of endurance, agility, strength and skills for a number of people. We often hear of people conquering Mt. Everest, Mt. Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, Kosciuszko in Australia, and Elbrus in Europe. Just like what Miley Cyrus said, “it’s a dream” and some people will do everything to realize their dream of conquering a mountain.

Some people claim that they fear heights and, according to them, the best way to face their fear is to be involved in a climbing activity.
In Utah, climbing is a favorite hobby for many people as evident in the number of climbing associations and clubs in the state. Surely, climbing will be among the top activities in Utah this summer.

This popular activity has inspired students from Utah State University to design and invent the Personal Vacuum Assisted Climber, which allows the climber to quickly scale a 90-foot wall. The USU systems consist of a powerful vacuum, with suction pads rimmed with air-sealant strips; a harness to hold the device on the user; and metal footwear to help the climber find tiny footholds in the wall’s surface, for added stability, and to allow PVAC users to support their body weight during the climb.

This design was the winner in a competition to provide a solution to the Air Force’s need of a gadget for wall climbing without using grappling hooks. The requirement was for the device to be light, but to be able to hold 300 pounds. It also had to be capable of allowing the climber to climb a 90-foot wall.

Climbing festivals such as the Ogden Climbing Festival is already on its 6th year. One participant, 15-year-old Layla Tanner, considers climbing a good problem solving practice that makes her feel powerful and good about herself after a successful climb. She believes that it is unlike any team sport because you must rely only on yourself and not teammates to help you win.

Climbing can be highly individualized, but it is necessary to have reliable gear, skills, and companions to share the fun. It is not advisable to climb alone. Companions can help you in times of distress, emergencies, or accidents. Climbing accidents in Utah have been featured a number of times, especially during Memorial Day Celebration and in the summer months. Some of the activities were fatal and some climbers sustained serious injuries. Rescue efforts are usually time consuming because of the inaccessibility of the accident site and often requiring special equipment to extract the victim or to transport the victim to hospital.

If you are planning a climbing activity this summer, make sure to check the gears/materials needed for the climb. Review safety measures and make sure you are fit for the climb. Do not climb alone especially if it will be your first time. Check websites and brochures regarding the mountain you planned to climb. Research about its terrain and be familiar with the map and trail. Get a good guide if necessary. Do not forget to discuss with your group safety measures and what to do in case there is an emergency. Make sure other people are aware of your plans and devise a way of communication.

We at Christensen & Hymas wish you a happy summer. Stay safe and enjoy your mountain experience. If you or anyone that you know has been involved in injury resulting from manufacturing defects or recklessness of another person, feel free to contact us at (801)506-0800. We will be happy to assist you using our expertise in personal injury cases.

Photo copy right Max Pixel

Ken Christensen
Partner, Founder at Christensen & Hymas
Ken Christensen is the founding partner of Christensen & Hymas. He is an avid cyclist, loves baseball, and enjoys spending time with his family in the outdoors.

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