Seven Summits

The achievement I am most proud of, and probably most noted for, is being the only blind person to climb the Seven Summits. This quest began in 1995 with the ascent of Mount McKinley (aka Denali) when I was a school teacher in Phoenix, Arizona. After this exhilarating feat, I then decided that I wanted to commit to a life as a full-time adventurer.  I climbed to the highest point on each of the seven continents over the course of 13 years, and in 2008, I stood atop Carstensz Pyramid, my final continental summit. 

In this section, you can learn more about each of my expeditions to climb the Seven Summits. 

  • Everest

    Straddling the border of Nepal and Tibet lies the highest point on Earth, Mt. Everest, my fifth continental summit.

  • Denali - Mount Mckinley

    Mt. McKinley, or Denali, meaning the "great one," in the native Athabascan language, was the first of my seven summits. Mt. McKinley rises steeply from its base at just over 2,000 feet above sea level to over 20,000 feet, a gain in elevation which is greater than Mt. Everest...

  • Kilimanjaro

    Kilimanjaro stands alone on a flat plain, formed by a massive volcanic event which exploded beneath the Earth's surface and deposited magma in the shape of a gigantic cone called a stratovolcano.

  • Aconcagua

    My third of the Seven Summits, Aconcagua is the highest point in the southern hemisphere, the highest point in the Americas, and the highest point outside of Asia.

  • Vinson Massif

    Vinson Massif was my fourth continental summit. It is one of the world's most remote peaks, and just getting there is half the battle.

  • Mount Elbrus

    Mt. Elbrus, my sixth summit, is located in the Caucasus which straddles the war torn boundary between European Russia and Asian Georgia. Mt. Elbrus is Europe's established continental summit. 

  • Mount Kosciusko

    Kosciuszko is a day hike and, by far, the least difficult of the traditional Seven Summits. In fact, it's climbed by thousands of tourists a year. 

  • Carstensz Pyramid

    Carstensz Pyramid is a jagged and snow-capped peak that looms over the vast central rainforest of New Guinea and tops out with a 2,000 foot vertical wall of limestone. It is the highest island peak in the world and the highest point between the Himalayas and the Andes.