Palmdale Teacher Aims to Break Indoor Climbing Record to Inspire Student

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. - A Palmdale High School attempts to set the world record for climbing the equivalent height of Mount Everest at an indoor gym. The educator wants to inspire a former student to return to school after she survived a shooting two years ago.

"He's always out to help other people,” said Jason Wells, a longtime friend of Tim Klein, a Palmdale High School teacher. “Everything he's doing, he's always thinking about the people around him."

Klein’s even trying to breaking world records for people. He set out to climb 1096 laps at a Santa Clarita indoor gym Friday morning. Wells describes it as scaling a well-known attraction at Yosemite National Park. "El Capitan is about 3,000 feet tall, a little bit more,” said Wells. “Tim's gonna climb 29 vertical feet so that's about nine El Capitan's stacked on top of each other."

It’s also the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest. Klein wants to beat the world record of 13 hours and 25 minutes for reaching that height indoors. He's doing it for Keiry – a former student in Klein's Health Career Academy at Palmdale High. She was only in his class for a semester before she was shot in the head two years ago, leaving her with a less than one percent chance of survival.

"The doctors said she was never going to make it,” said Alexis, Keiry’s brother. “Look at her now where she's at, talking to everybody, you know?" She was even watching Klein as he climbed lap after lap. “Wonderful!” said Kairy with a huge smile on her face.Keiry's family says Klein has been there for every step of her long, painful road to recovery. "He'll come see her every two weeks, no matter what,” said Alexis. “To this day, he still comes and we're very grateful for that."

"After weeks of just him being able to go and read stories to her - because she could only hear but not respond – it’s been just been so amazing to see her turnaround,” described Tim’s wife, J.J. Klein wants to see Keiry return to school. She's nervous about facing her peers so he's spending hours climbing up and down the gym walls to show her you have to start somewhere. "Definitely next year, she's going back to school," said Alexis. Keiry’s family hopes she’ll return to class by February. 

Klein also created a YouCaring account so others can help Keiry return to school. 

UPDATE: Tim Klein finished his climb in 9 hours, 26 minutes and 15 seconds, climbing a total of 29,065 feet, surpassing the height of Mount Everest by 36 feet.


This story, by Rene Eng, originally appeared on Time Warner Cable News on Saturday, December 31, 2016.  Full Article.