I stood on top of the world! We got 19 out of 21 to the summit of Everest–still a world record for the most members of one team to top out in a day. Many, many thanks to my incredible friends who came together and achieved the impossible!!
At the moment, I am still the only blind person who has climbed Everest. But my friend, Andy Holzer, is training to become the second this fall.
Great article in today’s Denver Post about our super-sucessful climb of Quandary Peak on Friday. We got 55 people—including 4 blinds, 1 prosthetic, 2 PTSDs, and 1 TBI—to the top of the 14,265 foot peak! We enjoyed spectacular weather and incredible camaraderie for a true celebration of taking on adversity. More details soon.
PS at the bottom of the article, be sure to click the Recommend It link so this get more attention.
“We’re in the Sahara, yo!”
“It would be humiliating to lose to a blind guy!”
ABC has moved the premier from June 21st to Thursday, June 23rd. Same bat time, same bat channel. Here’s the first commercial for our adventure race:
Here’s Jeff with his Hollywood hairdo while I’m sizing up Ike in case I have to carry him.
Ten years ago, I suffered mightily to become the first blind person to climb the highest peak in the world. If only I had waited! Now you can climb Everest without even leaving your desk. This new technology lets you experience Everest in 3D high resolution. It’s just like the real thing…minus the coughing your lungs up, terrifying crevasse crossings, and blistering cold.
As you may know, I dropped out of sight for about four weeks this past March and April. Now I can tell you that I was in Morocco participating in a new reality TV show called Expedition Impossible! This is the latest creation of Mark Burnett, the producer of Eco-Challenge adventure races and the Survivor and The Apprentice reality shows.
My longtime climbing partner, Jeff Evans, and one of the soldiers from last fall’s Lobuche expedition, Ike Isaacson, joined with me to form Team No Limits. We competed against 12 other teams for a $250,000 prize. It was an incredible, and very sandy, adventure but you’ll have to watch the show to find out what happened–we are sworn to secrecy.
The show premiers at 9/8 PM on Tuesday, June 21st on ABC (and CTV in Canada) and continues for 10 weeks. After each episode, I will tell you some of the behind-the-scenes stories here on my blog. Stay tuned!
Erik Weihenmayer, 42, Golden, CO, speaker/writer
Jeff Evans, 41, Boulder, CO, physician assistant
Ike Isaacson, 33, Topeka, KS, National Guard
Christina Chin, 24, Davis, CA, manager
Brittany Smith, 24, Rancho Murietta, CA, pro golfer
Natalie Smith, 25, Woodland, CA, teacher/coach
Robert Robillard, 43, Concord, MA, police officer
Dani Henderson, 34, Marlborough, MA, police officer
James Vaglica, 49, Billerica, MA, police officer
The Country Boys
Nicholas Coughlin, 28, Clinton, MS, internet marketing
Jason Cronin, 37, Pensacola Beach, MN, business owner/entrepreneur
Chad Robinson, 27, Bolton,MS, realtor
Ryan Carrillo, 36, Los Angeles, CA, business owner
Kari Gibson, 26, Los Angeles, CA, poker tournament hostess
AJ Gibson, 30, Los Angeles, CA, mortgage consultant
Gus Sanfilippo, 48, Gloucester, MA, fisherman
Nino Sanfilippo, 43, Gloucester, MA, fisherman
Joe Sanfilippo, 44, Gloucester, MA, fisherman
The Football Players
Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, 31, Los Angeles, CA, broadcaster
Robert Ortiz, 27, Solana Beach, CA, business owner
Ricky Sharpe, 31, Costa Mesa, CA, coach
Dick Smith, 69, Normal, IL, store owner
Steven Smith, 49, Savoy, IL, store owner
Sam Gibbs, 23, Thomasboro, IL, store anager
John Post, 29, Pensacola, FL, sustainable farmer
Taylor Filasky, 31, San Diego, CA, video producer
Eric Bach, 26, San Francisco, CA, sales
Dashia Imperiale, 44, New York, NY, fitness instructor
Raven Garcia, 30, Bronx, NY, freelance writer
Mai Reyes, 38, New York, NY, manager
Eleanor Vanderbeck, 52, Reading, PA, bookkeeper
Ruthie Vanderbeck, 27, Reading, PA, realtor
Abbie Vanderbeck, 29, Norwalk, CT, nanny
New York Fireman
Kevin Coursey, 39, Belle Harbor, NY, firefighter
Robert Kiley, 34, Rockaway Park, NY, firefighter
Michael Egan, 34, Rockaway Park, NY, firefighter
Lindsey Haymond, 27, Houston, TX, teacher
Kelsey Fuller, 21, Overland Park, KS, student
Mackenzie Fuller, 18, Overland Park, KS, student
My good friend Douglas Sidialo was recently interviewed by Lisa Mullins for PRI’s The World radio broadcast. It’s a very powerful piece and well worth the listen. In 1998, Douglas was blinded by flying shards of glass during the embassy bombing in Kenya that was ordered by Osama Bin Laden. While that terrible tragedy changed his life, Douglas used it as fuel for greatness.
In 2002, Douglas joined World TEAM Sports on the first Face of America ride from Ground Zero to the Pentagon. Over 1,200 people took on the 278-mile challenge to honor the victims of terrorism.
I had the great pleasure of climbing to the “Roof of Africa” with Douglas in 2005. We had corresponded a few times when he told me his dream was to climb Kilimanjaro someday as a way to spread a message of peace throughout the world. I was so excited by this worthy goal that I immediately set about planning an expedition. It proved to be a very difficult challenge but we succeeded and he became the first blind African to stand on the summit of the highest peak on the continent.
Only two years later, Douglas became the first blind athlete to complete the Tour d’Afrique, a 7,500 mile bike expedition from Cairo to Cape Town. Today he works as a motivational speaker and continues to spread his message of peace and healing.
Support our anniversary climb of Elbert! Donate anything to Global Explorers today to win a $500 Moosejaw Climbing Package and every donation up to $10,000 will be matched! Go to: http://www.crowdrise.com/whatsyoureverest
The Adventure TEAM Challenge made the local news in Minneapolis yesterday morning. My friends at the Prouty Project have really stepped up to raise awareness for the world’s most rewarding adventure race! The Prouty Project is an amazing company that helps other organizations with strategic planning, organizational development, and board development. They are sponsoring FIVE teams to attend the ATC this year! This Saturday, they are having a major fund raising event for those in the Twin Cities area.
- Erik on Grand Canyon Expedition: Day #6 September 12, Photos & Update
- Michael Dean on Kayak Training
- Joe on No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition Reflection
- Danna on No Barriers Grand Canyon Expedition Reflection
- Kathleen Archuleta on Kayaking Blind Grand Canyon Expedition Recap Video
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- Expedition Impossible Behind the Scenes #4 - 16 comments