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Adaptive Climbing Group National Competition | Donald Lee

Donald Lee demos some mad skill. His current climbing obsession brings him to this weekend’s national adaptive climbing competition.


Brooklyn Boulders Foundation’s mission is to positively impact our environment, inner city youth, and persons with disabilities, through physical movement and  creative expression.

The Adaptive Climbing Group‘s mission is to offer the chance for disabled climbers to learn techniques that adapt to their personal abilities strengthens resolve, keep fit, have fun, and help new climbers reach the top. As a sponsored program of the Brooklyn Boulders Foundation, we have partnered with ACG to grow the adaptive climbing communities in Brooklyn, Boston, and Chicago.

BKBF X ACG are training and sending three competitors to the USA Adaptive Climbing National Championship in Kennesaw, Georgia on July 17th. To donate please visit:

Name: Donald Lee

Age: 43

Paraclimbing Category: Male Leg Amputation

Hobbies: I enjoy biking, collecting sticker art for my prostheses and national park patches for all the parks I’ve visited, traveling…I’m a new addict. I appreciate new experiences of all kind, especially ones that puts me out of my element.

Profession: Paralegal

When did you discover adaptive climbing? May 2015.

What do you like the most about climbing?
Climbing is inclusive with endless possibilities. Plus, it’s limitless fun. Anyone can climb and learn to climb well. It is a uniquely singular activity that engages all aspects of your mental capacity and physicality from utilizing your skeletal framework to refining various muscle articulations. Climbing requires active thought and precision, yet it’s so basic and satisfying. I particularly love honing my primal instincts. At times, I feel like a less graceful mountain goat. Other times, climbing makes me feel like a clown on stilts. Climbing is an exhilarating and humbling activity. It grounds you as you reach new heights. You can’t beat that.

Lee trains with BKB instructor Luke Livesey.
Lee trains with BKB instructor Luke Livesey.

What other sports do you participate in.
None. Climbing is all-consuming for me right now. But I would love to try fencing, wrestling,  or a team sport that doesn’t involve a ball.

Do you have any climbing goals?
Bouldering outdoors.

What are you working on? Movement? Projects? Mountains? Fitness?
Everything! Focusing on sequencing and transitioning techniques and learning core exercises on rest days.

What are you looking forward to about this trip?
Repping Brooklyn! The only thing I know about Kennesaw is its mandatory gun law. So I’ll be on my best behavior. Seriously, besides meeting and learning skills from fellow adaptive climbers from across the country, I look forward to visiting the hometown of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coca-Cola. My dog Loki is also from Atlanta. She’s a true southern belle and my lucky charm. Allegedly, her great grandmother was canine royalty who won an AKC Championship. Hope her heritage rubs off on me at the Nationals!

On July 17th The Adaptive Climbing Group is headed to Kennesaw, GA for the USA Adaptive Climbing National Championship! With your support, BKBF and ACG can cover costs of the competition. Visit our GoFundMe page to donate.

Your donation will help support travel & hotel accommodations and registration fees for this year’s adaptive climbers to compete.