Archive for April, 2012

Double Amputee Mountain Climber

This week I’d like to take a break from the Z build to introduce Jerod – a local prosthetic technician, mountain climber, and all around nice guy. Who despite the loss of both legs AND being a diabetic, climbs the highest mountains… literally!

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Velveeta on that one.

I had the privilege of filming Jerod a while back for the documentary, and even went climbing through the mountains of the Delaware Water Gap with him. Truly an amazing experience, and something I’ll never forget.

Double Amputee Mountain Climber

I met Jerod through my fiancée’s father Mark, an avid climber himself. Over dinner one night I mentioned the need to reach out to, and film, other amputees pursuing their dreams for the documentary. Mark mentioned Jerod, a local climber and friend from the gym that just happened to also be an amputee.

Once Mark got the ok that Jerod was interested in the project, I reached out to him. After a lengthy conversation, we hatched a plan to film him hiking up to, and eventually climbing, one of his favorite spots in the picturesque mountains of the Delaware Water Gap.

Double Amputee Mountain Climber

I asked if he could take me there beforehand to scout the location, so I’d know what we were up against when we filmed, and he agreed.

Like a true novice (and city boy that I am), I showed up in a pair of Chuck Taylor’s – I.E. sneakers… only to find out this was no simple hike on a freshly groomed trail to get to the climbing spot… It was an adventure in itself!

Double Amputee Mountain Climber Delaware Water Gap

Double Amputee Mountain Climber Delaware Water Gap

We’re talking ditch your car on the side of the highway and duck off into some thick brush to start the semi-vertical ascent through rocks, trees, loose ground and other hazards just to get to the base of the climb.

What did I get myself into?

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It’s been a few weeks since my string of bad luck on the Z build. Took a much-needed break to digest the news and reassess where to go from here. I wish I had better news to report at this point, but unfortunately the motor is indeed toast.

I had initial high hopes after speaking with Harry of Ztuner and friend (and fellow Z enthusiast) Jason Moss Monte – they both recommended dropping a capful of oil into the spark plug holes and running the compression test one more time before pulling the motor. The theory behind this was since the motor sat for a few months without being started, the cylinder walls ran dry of oil, which would normally create a better ring seal (and higher compression numbers). The cap of oil coats the cylinder walls and replaces the lost oil film.

(Click past the break to read more about the motor’s fate as well as adventures in backyard frame repair!)

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