Ryan Titchener | Jasper’s inspiring mountain man | Alberta, Canada

Ryan Titchener | Jasper’s inspiring mountain man | Alberta, Canada

The Rockies have a unique wild
environment that you can put yourself into anywhere you go, from the valley
bottoms right to the summit. And it kind of makes you feel like
you’re part of nature. I think that’s kind of the essence of why we travel to
these unique places, and into the mountains, because we want to feel that
wilderness experience. My name is Ryan Titchener, and I’m a Jasper local here. And I’m a sit-skier. Jasper is unique. When you travel
around to other mountainous towns you start to realize that, you know, Jasper is kind of the ideal mountain town. It gives you the opportunity to be able to
get out into the mountains and do anything you want. Right from the get-go I had people
telling me how to unique talent for climbing. It wasn’t the goal to become a
guide at first, but it slowly became that. As, you know, you get more and more
experienced in the mountains. You know, as a climber, there’s always
that chance that you could get hurt. I was training for my full alpine examination, and I was on, you know, a real classic climb, Pigeon Spire, going up the
ridgeline. All of a sudden, one step and that was it. I was literally down climbing into a notch there, and I leaned on to a boulder that was unsteady, and
it literally rolled right over my body. It hit me from the back, crushing my
chest and breaking almost all my ribs. I had internal bleeding in my lung. It paralyzed me from the waist down. It’s really frustrating when you never
know how strong you’re gonna get, but you work at it every single day in the hopes that you can, you know, one day walk again. In the mountains, in one way, I felt a
little disconnected at first. Maybe that’s a little bit of
motivation right there, because I had such a deep connection with the
mountains. I literally climbed every day. When when I got hurt, I could see those mountains, they were kind of like a distant dream almost
I just couldn’t touch them, I couldn’t get into them. I didn’t know how.
And then the sit-skiing was you know it became kind of almost like my
way to get back into the mountains. I didn’t have to climb the vertical faces
anymore, but I could find that same passion and that same love for the
mountains in other aspects. I went from feeling disconnected to
feeling like I was part of them again. I guess for someone that had skied at a very high level for years and years, it’s almost just like learning to walk again. And then eventually I just kind of started to find that balance. All the people of Jasper, they raised a
ton of money for me in order to provide me with something like a sit-ski,
and I wouldn’t be out here riding at Marmot if it wasn’t for that generosity
of the community and that love that they’ve showed me from day one. Getting to the summit of Marmot, it’s kind
of is my way to give back. It’s like ‘Hey guys, I’ve worked hard, everybody supported me and here I am, standing on the summit of our mountain
again.’ I feel like every step I make has been
literally hundreds, if not not thousands of hours of physio and it’s going to mean
something. People, you know, we love each other. When people get hurt, the human spirit is resilient. If I ever felt alone on this planet, I will never feel it again because of what’s happened with
this accident, and the way that everybody’s reached out help me.

4 thoughts on “Ryan Titchener | Jasper’s inspiring mountain man | Alberta, Canada

  1. Thrilled that part of Ryan's recovery has been supported by the use of Urban Poling's ACTIVATOR poles. They make walking and hiking some of Alberta's spectacular trails accessible to people with mobility issues such as recovery from acute spinal injury, stroke, cardiac arrest, hip & knee surgery as well as people with arthritis, diabetes, Parkinson's disease and MS. Urban Poling has donated two pairs of these specialized Nordic walking poles to Rocky Mountain Adaptive, for use in their programming in Alberta's Bow Valley/Kananaskis region.

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