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Adventure | Inspiration | Motivation | Olympics | Personal Development | Sports
Mark Wellman, 44, has been a mountaineer since the age of 12. He has ascended over 50 Sierra Nevada peaks, including the French Alps. A freak accident on his descent of the Seven Gables in the John Muir Wilderness left him paralyzed from the waist down in 1982.
Mr. Wellman has continued his love for climbing with the help of his climbing partner, Mike Corbett. In 1989, they made history with their ascent of the 3,000-foot face of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. On September 4, 1991, they set out to conquer Yosemite's other big wall, Half Dome. Thirteen days later they reached the top of the 2,200-foot vertical Tis-Sa-Ack route on Half Dome.
A former member of the United States Disabled Ski Team, competing in two Paralympics, Mark Wellman is also known for his extreme down hill skiing and white water kayaking adventures.
In the spring of 1993, Mr. Wellman skied 50 miles, to be the first paraplegic to sit-ski across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range with only the use of his arms. The Trans' Sierra crossing started at Ellery Lake, on the east side of the Sierra, ascended over the 10,000-foot Tioga Pass, and four days later ended at Crane Flat.
Mark Wellman earned a Park Management Certificate from West Valley College in Saratoga, California. From 1986-91 he worked as a full time Interpretive Ranger and was Director of the Disabled Access Program in Yosemite National Park.
Mr. Wellman's book, Climbing Back, an autobiography, is a story of his struggle to survive a disabling accident, to become a park ranger, an accomplished wheel-chair athlete, and ultimately to climb the sheer granite faces of El Capitan and Half Dome. He has designed "adaptive" equipment and has developed programs to inspire and motivate others.
Mark Wellman's passion for the outdoors has led him to document several videos on outdoor adventure, featuring physically disabled individuals enjoying outdoor sports and using their individual means of adaptation. The videos, No Barriers, Beyond the Barriers, and Wheels of Fire, are filled with adventure, drama and inspiration. They include climbing, skiing, kayaking, sailing, surfing, diving and hang-gliding, and more. Musicians with varied disabilities have enhanced the videos with outstanding music and lyric.
In August of 1996, Mr. Wellman demonstrated to the world an example of overcoming adversity. Honored by the Paralympic Committee, he ascended a 120-foot rope, with the flaming torch, and lit the cauldron for the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta, Georgia.
On July 19, 1999, Mark Wellman made a repeat climb of El Capitan, which would be ten years later with climbing partner Mike Corbett. Called "Return to the Challenge," his 10-year anniversary climb was completed in 11 days on a much more challenging route, The Nose.
Mr. Wellman speaks for the Washington-based, Disabled Sports USA. He lends his name to the Governor's Committee on Employment for the Disabled, and is a consultant for the California's Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He is also a member of the General Motors 'Barrier Breakers' Team and is an advisor for World T.E.A.M. Sports.
Mark Wellman lives in Northern California where he operates his business No Limits. Whether training for new wilderness adventures or touring the country as a motivational speaker, He constantly strives to break down barriers. From college campuses to corporate boardrooms he has become a nationally known influence for the disabled and able-bodied alike. With his dynamic style and bold determination, he continues to encourage his audiences to fulfill their dreams by reaching for higher goals to success.
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