Erik Weihenmayer has become a celebrated and accomplished athlete, despite losing his vision at the age of 13. Redefining 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.
On May 25, 2001, Erik became the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. At the age of 33, on September 5, 2002, Erik became one of less than 100 individuals to climb all of the Seven Summits – the highest peaks on each of the seven continents – when he stood on the top of Australia ’s Mt. Kosciusko.
Erik continues to seek out new adventures. In September 2003, he completed Primal Quest, the toughest multi-sport race in the world – 9 days, 460 miles, 60,000 feet of elevation gain, no time outs. Last fall, Erik, along with his Everest teammates, led a group of blind Tibetan teenagers to 21,000 ft. on the north face of Mt. Everest as an educational outreach project to carve out opportunities for young people around the globe, no matter what their challenges.
Erik is a former middle school teacher and wrestling coach who has made his way onto the cover of Time, Outside and Climbing magazines. He has also been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today, the Tonight Show and Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. He is the author of the best selling autobiography, Touch the Top of the World. He is the recipient of numerous awards, among them the prestigious National Courage Award and the 2002 ESPN ESPY award.