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The Faces of Summer


People You Want to Know: No.1

It’s hard to find one way to describe what Craig DeMartino does. World-class professional rock-climber? Yup. But also, adaptive athlete, photographer, television host, motivational speaker and all-around badass could all be used interchangeably to describe this outdoor renaissance man. In 2002, already a veteran climber, DeMartino fell 100 feet during an ascent in Rocky Mountain National Park. The accident left him without his right leg below the knee, but—you guessed it—he kept climbing. Four years later he became the first disabled athlete to climb Yosemite’s El Capitan in one day, later leading an entire group of adaptive athletes up the 3,000 foot face.

“I started climbing back in 1989, at a bachelor party of all things,” DeMartino told Yellow Scene. “It has been one of the only things that really clicked with me, and I have been chasing it ever since.”

That chase got him noticed by the outdoor media world, and he’s now gearing up to host “Fight to Survive” on the Outdoor Channel, which recently reenacted his fall for the episode.

“That was a bit weird to watch,” DeMartino confesses. “My wife and I both said it was both freaky and also kinda helpful to watch someone who looks like you be smashed into the rocks (faked)—but still seemed other worldly.”

DeMartino isn’t slowing down, either.

“Going forward I have two comps coming soon, The GoPro Games in Vail and Paraclimbing Nationals in Atlanta in July. After those two comps I want to stay outside climbing routes, hopefully head back to Yosemite in September to climb on Half Dome—and, we are working on a trip to Croatia to climb and explore some new routes.”

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