Sep 20, 2023 - Culture

Chris Shively Layne, paralyzed in 2016, summits Colorado's Mount Elbert

Chris Shively Layne and volunteers atop Mt. Elbert in Colorado.

Photo courtesy of the Lockwood Foundation

In 2016, Chris Shively Layne fell just seven steps into her hike in Clear Creek Canyon and tumbled 80 feet.

  • Layne lost consciousness for a time and when she awoke, the lifelong athlete realized she could no longer move her legs. She was paralyzed from the waist down.

Yes, but: It didn't stop her from summiting mountains.

  • Earlier this month, with the help of a one-wheel mobility device for narrow trails and a team of 51 volunteers, 53-year-old Layne climbed Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak at 14,438 feet.

What she's saying: "I got to be on top of the world again," Layne told the Summit Daily News.

The big picture: The opportunity came with help from the Lockwood Foundation, a Lakewood-based nonprofit that helps people with mobility issues explore the mountains.

  • The organization recently helped hikers with cerebral palsy and Lou Gehrig's disease summit Mount Elbert.

The bottom line: "I thought I'd never hike again — never mind summit the highest peak in Colorado," Layne said.


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