Vasu Sojitra has climbed peaks like the Grand Teton and climbed and skied peaks in Montana’s Beartooth and Bridger mountain ranges—all one on leg and without a prosthetic. Unassisted, he summit peaks, sends cliffs, and skis deep powder. He even landed a 720 spin on skis—the first for an adaptive skier.
Vasu lost his right leg to a blood infection when he was nine months old. Rather than letting his disability define him, Vasu has always treated his amputation as an opportunity to live life with determination, courage, strength, grace and determination. Raised in India and Connecticut, Vasu’s family—especially his brother—have supported Vasu, but also empowered his independence. He learned to walk on a prosthetic, but, by the time he was 10 years old, Vasu was fed up with its design flaws. His brother introduced him to skateboarding and later to skiing. On little ski hills in Connecticut, Vasu taught himself to ski because no instructor at the time could figure out how to teach a skier with one leg. Following his brother, he quickly improved. While in college in Vermont, Vasu and his friends found ways to adapt his ski crutches to make backcountry skiing possible. He found a passion for human powered skiing and continued rigging equipment to help him excel in mountain sports ranging from trail running to rock climbing to packrafting. By setting lofty goals and accomplishing what some might consider impossible—Vasu was the first adaptive climber to summit the Grand Teton—Vasu aims to bring the concept of universal access and inclusion to the outdoor world.
Vasu lives in Bozeman, Montana where he leads outdoor activities for people of marginalized backgrounds. He works as adaptive sports director for Eagle Mount Bozeman, a nonprofit that provides therapeutic recreational opportunities for people with disabilities and young people with cancer. Vasu is also one of the founding coordinators for Earthtone Outside Montana, an organization advocating for the visibility of people of color within Montana.
- First independent adaptive athlete to run The Rut 11k, 2017
- The Beaten Path (28 miles), Beartooth Mountain Range, MT, 2018
- First independent adaptive ascent on crutches:
- Granite Peak, Beartooth Mountain Range, MT, 2015
- Grand Teton, Grand Teton Mountain Range, WY, 2014
- Multiple peaks, Green Mountains State Park, VT
- Multiple peaks, Adirondack State Park, NY
- First independent adaptive ascent and descent via skiing
- Abiathar Couloir, Beartooth Mountain Range, MT, 2017
- The Ruler, Bridger Mountain Range, MT, 2015
- The Great One, Bridger Mountain Range, MT, 2015
- Multiple peaks in Chic Choc Mountain Range, Quebec, Canada
- Tuckerman Ravine, White Mountains, NH, 2012
- First 720 spin by an adaptive skier, 2017
- Vasu Sojitra: Out on a Limb”, Mountainfilm 2015