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Everest, Without Sight

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
So I'm on the Elliptical today, thinking that there is no way I can finish 45 minutes, when I spot a copy of Time Magazine. It seems that Erik Weihenmayer, a 33 year old blind man from Colorado, has climbed Mount Everest.

The significance of this just about blows me away. The article explains that blind people depend on predictable pattterns as a means of negotiating their daily activities. But the Khumbu Icefall is devoid of prdictable patterns.

At one point, Weihenmayer had the thought that he should have become what would be a typical stereotype for a blind person; either a piano tuner or a pencil salesman. Ironically, when he gives motivational lectures to various corporations about mountain climbing, he is sometimes approached by fat middle managers who say "Even I would'nt do that stuff". Although he does not say it , he thinks "You're fat, out of shape and you smoke. Why do you think you can do any of this, because you can see?"

Kind of gives you a whole new perspective about what we can and can't do.

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Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #2 of 8
I read that article last night when flying home form a business trip. His achievement was absolutely awesome, he pulled his weight by climbing the ice fields 10 times with supplies. Discussed this with my hubby and we decided that he must have amazing core strength and stability, allowing him to respond to unexpected changes in terrain without falling.

We had a lot of snow fall in our city this week, and the footpaths, roads and car parks were sheets of ice. My hubby noticed a huge difference in his stability walking on the ice with his core fired up. I know there is no comparison between an icy footpath and climbing Everest, just made us think about what condition he must have been in to achieve this.
post #3 of 8
Erik is truley an ispiration to all. in addition to climibing Erik is also a certified sky and scuba diver. And in 1998, he rode a tandem bike from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City with his father, a Vietnam veteran.

Lots of information on previous feats on the web

one site http://www.everestnews.com/erik.htm
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Kima, thanks for the link. The hopeless romantic in me loves the part about the wedding. Given what you said about traffic in Denver, I hope he dosen't ride his bike there.

Twokwiwis, thanks for bringing up the core stability stuff. Kind of explains why I am usually okay skiing through a complete white out. I brought this up this morning. I have one class where some of the students are totally visual learners, and while constantly turning their head to look in the mirror, they throw off their alignment.

BTW, speaking of core stability, I'll be taking a bunch of workshops with Paul Chek in the next 5 months. I'll keep you posted.

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Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #5 of 8
Great story!

I remember skiing Winter Park several years ago with my wife. At the time, WP was the home of the US Disabled Ski Team (may still be). We were riding a chair and below us heard someone saying a sharp "LEFT...RIGHT...LEFT..." Following the sound, we saw a blind skier and his guide decending a slope, both wearing the orange "Blind Skier" vests. We watched them ski down in perfect unison making perfect turns and obviously enjoying the run. They looked more like a powder-8 team than a blind skier with a guide.

After they were out of sight, my wife looked at me and asked "Which one was the blind one?" I had no idea.

Amazing athletes.
post #6 of 8
I'd be interested in what you think of the Paul Check seminars. He was in NZ a while back, and my husband would have loved to go to one of his seminars, but could not make it. I have to confess my husband has watched his videos so much, the sound of Paul's voice now irritates me.

We are hoping to try out our core stability on the slopes this weekend, when our mountain is due to open, fingers crossed.
post #7 of 8
I attended a clinic this season and one of the exercises was skiing blind with a guide.

None of us lasted more than ten or fifteen seconds with repeated attempts.

The first turn is OK (probably by visual "memory"), the second is pure vertigo but at this point you usually just come to a stop and sit down.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Suzanne Nottingham, who is influenced a good deal by Paul Chek, does many eyes closed balance exercises. It will be interesting to see if she uses this in her ski conditioning workshop in July. Stay tuned!

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Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
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