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Dylan To Climb for USA at World Championships!

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Climbing is an interesting sport to take up when you are one-handed. Fifty is an unusual age at which to compete in your first World Championships in any sport. But after finishing 4th in my first National Championships in Washington D.C. this March, I've made the U.S. National Paraclimbing Team and will represent the USA at World Cup events this summer in Salt Lake City, Innsbruck, Austria and Arco, Italy.

Just one year ago, I was an avid recreational climber balancing life as a husband, father of two, and 20-year professor of mathematics at Cal Poly. But then that April, the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly hosted an event that would literally change the course of my life.

World famous paraclimber Maureen (Mo) Beck was making a stop on her National Geographic speaking tour entitled “Improbable Ascent,” in which Beck tells the story of her ascent (with fellow paraclimber Jim Ewing) of the Lotus Flower Tower, a 2200-foot peak in Canada’s remote Cirque of the Unclimbables.

So I reached out to Mo on a whim, inviting her for a climb at our local gym. I really didn’t think my DM would lead anywhere, but Mo replied with an emphatic "Yes!!!", and we set a date to climb at The Pad in San Luis Obispo. Mo convinced me after that session that I had a shot at making the national team, so I began chasing that dream on the spot.

Now here we are! I climb four days a week and do conditioning on most other days. I joke that am I trying to go "semi-pro" in climbing. Whatever you call it, I'm fully committed to this summer’s World Championships and I have my eyes on a podium spot at Nationals in 2025, which brings us to this fundraising effort.

While making the National Team is a true honor that allows me to represent the USA around the world, it is mostly a self-funded endeavor. In particular, I am responsible for all of my training and travel expenses. Sincere thanks to my friends and family for all the support and encouragement that has gotten me this far, I couldn't have done any of it without you. I'm very excited to see where this road may lead!


  • Lee & Patsy Wyatt
    • $200 
    • 12 d
  • Tully Wyatt
    • $200 
    • 13 d
  • Lynn A
    • $100 
    • 22 d
  • Amy Gresko
    • $50 
    • 23 d
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 1 mo


Dylan Retsek
San Luis Obispo, CA

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