SPECIAL ADDITION – No Barriers with Erik Weihenmayer
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No Barriers with Erik Weihenmayer
Tuesday, March 21
The Donovan Pavilion in Vail
6 pm doors open, 6:30 pm program
-Presented in Partnership with the Vail Public Library–
A Collaboration between the Vail Symposium and The Bookworm of Edwards
The program this evening is SOLD OUT. Our policy for filling the seats of no-shows is as follows: Anyone who has already registered will be welcome to take a seat beginning at 6 p.m. Anyone who is not registered will be held at the door and on a waiting list. At 6:30 we will clear the waiting list according to how many spaces are available.
No Barriers. That has been the motto of Erik Weihenmayer’s life. It’s what led him to be the only blind person in history to climb Mt. Everest and, most recently, to descend the Grand Canyon in a solo kayak. Erik’s life is dotted with details of the extraordinary type, highlighted not by his blindness but by the light that burns in all of us, the obstacles that threaten to extinguish that light, and the treacherous ascent towards growth and rebirth.
In this free program presented in collaboration with the Bookworm of Edwards, and presented in partnership with the Vail Public Library, Weihenmayer will tell the captivating story since Everest: from leading expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers to helping injured soldiers climb their way home from war, adopting a son from Nepal and finally his solo kayak down the Grand Canyon.
“Barriers are real. They sometimes get in our way and knock us flat on our backs. Living a No Barriers Life means finding a way through those barriers to pursue a life that truly matters.” – Erik Weihenmayer
About Erik Weihenmayer
On May 25, 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the only blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. In 2008 he climbed Carstensz Pyramid on the island of Papua New Guinea, completing the Seven Summits, the highest point on every continent. This accomplishment closed the circuit on a 13-year journey that had begun with his 1995 ascent of Denali. He is joined by a select company of only 150 mountaineers to have accomplished the feat.
As word spread about Erik’s remarkable achievements, the world took notice; shortly after his summit of Everest, he was honored with a Time cover story detailing his conquest of the world’s highest peak. Since then, he has authored multiple books, including his memoir, Touch the Top of the World. Yet for those who had long known him, his propensity for taking on and knocking down the loftiest of challenges came as no surprise.
Even as retinoschisis began to rob him of his vision by the age of 13, Erik resisted the idea that blindness would sweep him to the sidelines of life. He established himself as a formidable wrestler in high school, representing his home state of Connecticut in the National Junior Freestyle Wrestling Championship in Iowa. As a teenager, he also discovered rock climbing and a natural dexterity for the tactile aspects of scanning the rock with his hands and feet for holds.
After graduating a double major from Boston College, Erik became a middle-school teacher and wrestling coach at Phoenix Country Day School. Yet it was atop the highest point in North America, the mountain known in the native Inuit language as Denali, where his quest for adventure began to take shape. Erik’s triumphs over some of the world’s most formidable mountains were fueling a growing aspiration to take the lessons he learned in the mountains to help others shatter barriers in their lives.
Connect with Erik
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(The event is free but registration is required)
The Vail Symposium
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The Bookworm of Edwards
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The Vail Public Library
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