The Nevada Climbing Center will host a fundraiser this weekend for Las Vegas climber and paraglider Amy Parker, who was critically injured a week ago in a “freak paragliding accident” near the Jean dry lake beds.
Manager Ryan Lawrence said that all proceeds from purchases made Saturday and Sunday at the rock climbing gym, 3065 E. Patrick Lane, will be donated directly to Parker’s recovery fund to help with medical costs and the care of her 3-month-old daughter, Ava.
“We’ve actually been telling people all week not to buy memberships and to come back this weekend just for Amy,” Lawrence told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday night.
Parker was paragliding on July 13 about 30 miles south of Las Vegas when she was severely injured during a “hard landing,” believed to have occurred shortly after takeoff, Las Vegas police have said. Parker, who has been paragliding for three years, fell between 40 to 60 feet, fracturing her spine, ribs, legs, both ankles, hip and pelvis.
Her sister, Ivy Pruss, told the newspaper this week that Parker’s emergency equipment failed after hitting the side of a steep, rocky hill, causing one of the glider’s wings to collapse.
Lawrence and Dave Campbell, a volunteer at the climbing gym, have been good friends with Parker since 2013, when she joined Nevada Climbing Center. They were immediately drawn to her infectious laugh, trademark smile and passion for adventure.
“When she was learning to climb here, we were there,” Campbell said.
The same week Parker started climbing, she approached Lawrence and said, “OK, tell me what gear I need to buy.”
“Uh, I don’t know. It’s going to be really expensive,” Lawrence recalled telling her. “Maybe you should wait.”
Parker shoved a piece of paper at him, told him to write everything down that she would need to climb well, and then went out and bought all her gear.
Within a month, Lawrence and Campbell said, she had purchased a “trad rack” — gear used in traditional climbing, in which climbers place their own protective gear.
“And she was still learning how to sport climb,” Campbell said, referring to a form of the sport that relies on pre-placed anchors fixed to the rock for protection.
“That’s just the type of person she is, man,” he added. “Amy is the type of person that everyone should meet in their lifetime.”
Doctors expect Parker to make a full recovery, according to her sister. And neither Campbell nor Lawrence doubt that she’ll “be back in the gym in no time.”
“That girl is tough as nails. You have to understand that Amy is a warrior, man,” Campbell said. “She’s got a fight ahead of her but it’s nothing that she can’t handle.”