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Colorado woman in wheelchair summits Mount Elbert with help from volunteers

Colorado woman in wheelchair summits Mt. Elbert with help from volunteers
Colorado woman in wheelchair summits Mt. Elbert with help from volunteers 03:01

Chris Layne said her life changed in a second when she started to slip while on a hike in Clear Creek Canyon back in October 2016.

"When I fell, I remember rolling down like a log," Layne said. "The world was spinning in a circle, and then all of a sudden, nothing. But my arm came up and protected my head or I wouldn't be here today."

Lockwood Foundation

Layne quickly realized she was paralyzed, and that her life was about to be very different than it had been. 

"I really didn't understand the challenges out there for parking, to restrooms, to restaurants, you name it and every day I have a challenge of some sort," Layne explained. "But so do a lot of people... It's called life."

One of her bigger challenges was coming to terms with the idea she would not be able to hike the same way she had in the past, but thanks to the Lockwood Foundation, she just summited Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in Colorado over the last weekend. 

"I had to be pushed, pulled, I had to be lifted up in the air to get over the big boulders," Layne remembered. "That takes a lot of strength, a lot of teamwork." 


A group of 50 volunteers joined forces for the two-day adventure up to the peak using a specialized wheelchair called a Trail Rider, which uses the power of two volunteers at the least. Each step that brought her closer, Layne said, was a magic moment. 

"I was high on life, I was high on Colorado!!" Layne said, laughing. "I had a smile on my face the whole time thinking 'They are doing this because they love to help other people, and they were having just as much fun as I was."

Along with summiting the mountain, and her first 14er since the accident, Layne is proud to claim the title of the first woman with a spinal cord injury to summit a 14,439-foot mountain.

"It is such a Colorado thing, and I never thought I would be able to do it again, but I did, we did," Layne said, smiling. "It is a team."

Lockwood Foundation

The Lockwood Foundation is always interested in finding more volunteers to help out on missions, you can learn more about it here

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