Co-Founder of No Barriers USA
Erik Weihenmayer is an American athlete, adventurer, author, activist and motivational speaker, and the only blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001. He also completed the Seven Summits in September 2002, joining 150 mountaineers at the time who had accomplished that feat, but the only climber who was blind. In 2008, he also added Carstenz Pyramid in West Papua New Guinea, the tallest peak in Austral Asia, thus completing the more respected Seventh Summit. Weihenmayer has also made noteworthy climbs up the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite in 1996, and ascended Losar, a 2700-foot vertical ice face in the Himalayas, which he ascended in two days and 3 hours, in 2008. He is the author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See, his memoir; and The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles into Everyday Greatness. Weihenmayer is the co-founder of No Barriers USA, which helps those with special challenges to live active and purposeful lives. The organization’s motto is “What's Within You Is Stronger Than What's In Your Way!” Injured soldiers are a major focus of No Barriers USA.