2001: First Blind Person to Reach the Summit of Mount Everest

2001: First Blind Person to Reach the Summit of Mount Everest
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Erik Weihenmayer speaking at a conference in 2007

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 25 May 2001
  • Erik Weihenmayer was born in the United States. He was the first and to this day the only blind person to conquer the summit of Mount Everest.

On this day in 2001, Erik Weihenmayer became the first blind person who managed to reach the summit of Mount Everest. 

Indeed, he remains the only such person to this day. Interestingly, he later conquered the highest peaks of all seven continents as well.

Erik Weihenmayer was born on 23 September in 1968 in the United States. He was not blind from birth, but lost his sight gradually. At the age of 16, he started using a guide dog. He was involved in wrestling and rock climbing, using his sense of touch. After completing his education, he became a teacher and wrestling coach at a school.

One of his first major climbs was the conquering of the highest peak of North America – Mount McKinley. In addition of summiting Mount Everest in 2001, he climbed it again in 2004 with the blind German activist Sabriye Tenberken and six blind Tibetan teenagers. They exceeded the height of 6,500 meters and set a world altitude record for a group of blind people.

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