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Colorado’s Erik Weihenmayer pioneers ‘No Barriers’ from whitewater to ice and rock
At age four, Weihenmayer was diagnosed with retinoschisis, a rare condition in which an area of the retina separates into two layers. Less than a decade later, he completely lost his sight. As an athletic, active kid, he eventually found rock climbing. His passion for scaling mountains would shape his entire life. Weihenmayer's iconic stature as a world-class explorer burgeoned at age 32, when he became the first blind person to summit Mount Everest in 2001 — and he didn't stop there. He completed the Seven Summits, reaching the top of the highest peak on each of the seven continents; rock climbed the 3,000-foot Nose technical route on El Capitan; and ice climbed Losar, an equally-long ice-waterfall in the Himalayas. He learned to skydive, paraglide and kayak, all while steering his own vessels. He skis backcountry and navigates expert runs in-bounds. And that's the abbreviated list of his accomplishments.