Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Thursday, July 01, 2010

First Blind Person To Climb Mount Everest

Erik Weihenmayer (born September 23, 1968) is the first blind person to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on May 25, 2001. He also completed the Seven Summits in September 2002. His story was covered in a Time article in June 2001 titled Blind to Failure. He is author of Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye can See, his autobiography.

Erik is an acrobatic skydiver, long distance biker, marathon runner, skier, mountaineer, ice climber, and rock climber. He is a friend of Sabriye Tenberken and Paul Kronenberg, the co-founders of Braille Without Borders, whom he visited in Tibet to climb with them and teenagers from the school for the blind.

A documentary film based on the project, Blindsight, was released in 2006. Another documentary, Fellowship of the Andes, was produced by Dutch filmmaker Bernd Out. The film shows how Erik inspires a team of blind and visually-impaired students on their mountain trek across the Andes in June 2006. In addition, Erik is an active speaker on the lecture circuit. He is represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau.

Erik is also one of the premier motivational speakers in the world. His speaking career has taken him around the world, from Hong Kong to Geneva, from the 2005 APEC Summit in Chile to the 2008 Presidential Inaugural Celebration in Washington DC. Erik speaks to audiences on harnessing the power of adversity, the importance of a strong “rope team,” and the daily struggle to pursue your dreams. Clearly, Erik's accomplishments show that one does not have to have perfect eyesight to have extraordinary vision.

Erik Weihenmayer is a world renowned author and adventurer with two books published; his memoir Touch the Top of the World, and The Adversity Advantage, co-authored by business and adversity expert Paul Stoltz.

He has taken part in numerous film projects, from Farther Than the Eye Can See, the award winning documentary of his historic Mt. Everest expedition, to the newly released BLINDSIGHT, which chronicles his expedition with six blind Tibetan teenagers to 21,500 feet on the flanks of Mt. Everest, higher than any team of blind people have ever stood. (

An Interview With Erik Weihenmayer

Click this link to visit Erik Weihenmayer's website:

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