Two years after paraplegic skier, Jeremy McGhee, climbs Bloody Mountain he talks about the expedition.

Jeremy McGhee’s goggles were fogged, his left arm was cramped up, and his body was drenched in sweat. It took every bit of the 38-year-old’s strength and determination to pull his body up to the summit of Bloody Mountain, a 12,544-foot peak in California’s Eastern Sierra Nevada range.

“We all have our list of things we want to do,” McGhee says. “If those things are worth a damn, they are going to be difficult they are going to be painful—achieving those things on our list is directly tied to how uncomfortable we are willing to get.”

It was early June in a low snow year. The plan was to ski Bloody Couloir, a 55-degree slope that is considered a rite of passage for only the most advanced backcountry skiers and snowboarders in the region. The fact that McGhee is paralyzed from the waist down substantially added to the degree of difficulty. It took years of dreaming, months of planning, a support team, and more than 1,000 pull-ups get to the summit.

McGhee laid face down on a plastic sled while using ropes and pulleys placed by a supporting team of climbers to pull himself up the couloir. A friend carried his sit ski up the ridge; his wheelchair waited for him in the car...