ACADIA NAT’L PARK — Seven people with physical, cognitive or intellectual disabilities spent several hours last Saturday rappelling and climbing on the sheer vertical face of Otter Cliff.
They included pre-teens and an adult with a prosthetic leg.
The group was brought to Acadia by the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center at Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, in partnership with the Maine Bound Adventure Center at the University of Maine. Professional instructors from the Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School in Bar Harbor donated their services.
The three-year-old Adaptive Outdoor Education Center offers activities designed to provide enrichment and to boost the self-confidence of people with various types of disabilities.
“Everything we do allows people of all abilities to be part of the community of different sports and to have a lot of fun,” said Kayla Miner, the Adaptive Outdoor Education Center’s program director.
The offerings include an adaptive sailing program, an adaptive water sports camp, a ski program for children with autism and an indoor climbing program.
“We’ve had kids as young as 4 climbing and people as old as 87,” Miner said.
“This is our first outdoor climbing trip,” she said of the Acadia outing. “It’s kind of a kick-off because, starting next summer, we hope to have more outdoor climbing programs to complement our indoor program.”
The seven climbers at Otter Cliff included five youngsters and two women who are members of the Boston-based Adaptive Climbing Group.
All of the climbers and their parents or companions spent Friday and Saturday nights at Acadia’s Blackwoods Campground.