Success is not just the crowning moment, the spiking of the ball in the end zone or the raising of the flag on the summit. It is the whole process of reaching for a goal and, sometimes, it begins with failure.”
Despite losing his vision at the age of 13, Erik Weihenmayer has become one of the celebrated and accomplished athletes in the world. Re-defining what it means to be blind, Erik has transformed the image of blindness and opened up the minds of people around the world. He has never let his blindness interfere with his passion for an exhilarating and fulfilling life.
Erik was first introduced to rock climbing at a camp for blind teenagers and soon was climbing more difficult mountains. After he moved to Arizona, he decided to climb Denali in Alaska… and did so. At 20,320 it’s the highest peak in North America.
The challenges grew for Erik. He climbed the tallest mountains in South America and Africa and then set his sights on Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. On May 25, 2001, Erik reached the top of Everest and stood at 29,035 feet. He was the first blind person to summit Everest. At the age of 34, Erik became one of less than 100 individuals to climb all of the Seven Summits - the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. He completed this incredible accomplishment on September 5, 2002 when he stood on top of Mt. Kosciusko in Australia. Erik continues to climb today, and more importantly demonstrates to others that blindness does not limit. In late 2004, he climbed with the blind founder and six blind students from the Tibetan school, Braille Without Borders. They hiked to 21,000 feet on a peak on the north side on Mount Everest; the highest altitude ever achieved by blind teenagers.
For more information about Erik and what he’s doing, visit www.touchthetop.com