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Erik Weihenmayer, recipient of the 1999 IDEA Fitness Inspiration Award, is one step closer to his dream of climbing the Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.

Erik Weihenmayer, former schoolteacher and wrestling coach from Golden, Colorado, has left with 7 members of his 2001 Everest team for Mt. Elbrus, hoping to make it his 6th continental summit. Elbrus, situated between the Black and Caspian Seas in the Caucasus Mountains, stands at 18,513’ as the watchtower between the steppes of Russia on its north and Azerbaydzani, Georgia and Armenia on its south. Regrettably, the area is best known today for the political turmoil which exists nearby in Georgia and Chechnya. The Today Show has followed Erik’s adventures beginning with McKinley in 1995. Ann Curry, whose rock climb with Erik several years ago was featured on the show, interviewed Erik "live" from Denver yesterday as he was making final preparations for his climb.

The team flies via Moscow to Mineral Vody, a small town in the south of Russia. A bus ride, hike and tram later, and the team arrives June 8 at one of the most unique campsites in the world: the barrels, at 8000’, which are old oil tanks re-fitted with rudimentary furniture and electricity by the Russians, and which will serve as sleeping quarters and base camp for the expedition.

Elbrus, a snow dome covered with glaciers, is appropriately called Little Antarctica. Its severe weather combined with ice and snow to the summit will test even these Everest climbers, who will then attempt a ski descent from the summit back to base camp. Erik has been training throughout the winter and spring with Elbrus teammates in preparation for skiing this 10,000’ steep slope. Erik would be the first blind skier to complete this run.

The Allegra-NFB 2002 Elbrus Expedition can be followed on www.SevenSummitsExpedition.com. The climb is being sponsored by Allegra and the National Federation of the Blind, sponsors of the record-setting Everest Expedition in 2001. The anticipated summit date is June 14 or 15.

Source: IDEA Fit Tips

[ June 26, 2002, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: AC ]
post #2 of 5
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Is she also BLIND? That's the thing that really blew me away!

That, and people like the Canadian, Rick Hansen, who went around the world on his wheel chair to promote spinal cord research. Unbelievable!
post #4 of 5
One of our girls from down here did that a couple of years ago.

Her hubby just skied to Nth Pole this year
post #5 of 5
This is some cool stuff! If you are interested he has a book on his climbing and life experiance. Another person that might be of interest is Mark Wellman check out some of his stuff on his site, www.nolimitstahoe.com. He has done and keeps on doing some amazing things!
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