I grew up with a fairly normal childhood except for one day when I was 14 everything changed. I was diagnosed with an “optic neuropathy of unknown origin” which is basically just a fancy description for going blind. The diagnosis put me in a state of extreme disbelief and eventually spiraled me into losing my passion for everything that I once loved.

About a year and a half into searching for a new path in my blind life, I was invited to the climbing gym. I still remember his exact invitation “You don’t have to see to climb; you only have to feel.”

After meeting countless friends and traveling the country, I have truly rediscovered meaning and passion in life. Everyday is a new adventure for me and being a climber has taught me to look at the world with an open mind.

My name is Justin Salas and I am not a blind climber; I am a climber who just happens to be blind.

Photos by. Daniel Loveland, and Dan Brock.