Visually-impaired children get chance to learn from champion Oklahoma rock climber just like them

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OKLAHOMA CITY - You've probably heard "walk by faith and not by sight," but on Wednesday, some local kids took that to new heights - literally.

Our cameras were rolling as blind and visually-impaired local children got the chance to learn how to rock climb from one of the top visually-impaired rock climbers in the country. It's all part of a free summer camp giving the children a chance to do things they never thought possible.

On a Wednesday morning, the kids learned to rock climb at Threshold Climbing and Fitness but, really - they've experienced an uphill climb for most of their lives.

"I normally don't come out to places like this," said camper Colton Condit.

That's why New View Oklahoma hosts their Oklahomans Without Limits or 'OWL' camp every year for children ages 8-15. They participate in activities like rock climbing, ice skating and visiting amusement parks. They also get to be around kids just like themselves.

"I'm more social," Condit said. "I get to talk to more people, and it's just really more fun here."

It's an opportunity USA Climbing Adaptive National Champion and Tulsa native Justin Salas said he wishes he had when he started losing his vision.

Salas's peripheral vision is still intact, but his central vision is essentially gone due to a mysterious optic nerve disease.

"It's still just kind of a myth to the doctors," he said.

Salas actually never climbed before he started losing his vision. Now - his instructor turned teammate, Matt Frederick helps guide him in competitions all over the world.

The duo came to inspire avid campers like Peytin Horinek.

"I got a little scared, and so I just kept on moving and moving up to the top and, when everyone was cheering for me, it made me happier," Horinek said.

But, after watching them - the roles may have reversed a bit.

"So, I think they inspire me more than they could ever realize because I've even got into para-climbing competitions to get more people into it," Salas said.

For more information on the free camp, go to New View Oklahoma's website.

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