2013 Archive

What's Your Everest? Climb, June 1st

We have a few spaces left for the No Barriers What's Your Everest? Climb on June 1st. I hope you will join me and the rest of our team for an ascent of Grays Peak (14,270 feet), just an hour from downtown Denver. Grays and its sister peak, Torreys, are the highest points along the entire Continental Divide in the United States and they provide exceptional views of the Front Range of Colorado.

No Barriers Essay Contest extended

Hey students, you just got one more week to submit your essay to my contest! We've had quite a few great essays come in already but I want to make sure everyone has time to enter. The objective of the No Barriers Mindset Contest is to encourage students to examine how they will reach to achieve the “impossible.” To enter the contest, start by watching four videos on this web page. Then write a 300 – 500 word essay that answers these questions:

Wells Fargo TV ad

A lot of friends have called me recently to say they thought they heard my voice or got a brief glimpse of me on a TV ad. They wanted to know if I’m the blind guy climbing while they were watching Dancing With The Stars and other prime time shows. Yes! It all came together quickly, and I’m psyched to be represented, along with the Wright brothers, Rosa Parks, and the Mars Curiosity landing. Very cool and an honor to be working with Wells Fargo. They’re right. Conversations lead to some amazing things! Erik

No Barriers Boston Fund

As a graduate of Boston College, and a runner, I was greatly impacted by the horrors of the tragic bombing. So I am proud to share the news that we have established the No Barriers Boston Fund to help amputees acquire advanced prosthetic legs. The goal is to raise $500,000 in the next 60 days so that these victims can once again run races, climb mountains, bike, swim, and live a normal life.

No Barriers Mindset essay contest

Hey students, win great prizes! As a parent and former schoolteacher, I have a strong interest in helping kids to dream big. To that end, we’ve created an essay contest that explores what we call at No Barriers, the "No Barriers Mindset." I have teamed up with two of my sponsors, Mountain Hardwear and Leki, to offer some cool prizes for the essays that stand out.

Grand Canyon practice run

I’m back from our 12-day practice run of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This trip was a test run for myself and my team to assess whether coming back to kayak all 225 miles is a real possibility or just a pipedream. Now that I’m back and have had some time to reflect, I feel I have a good shot at pulling this off. Starting off the trip, I listened carefully to the advice of my friend, Harlan Taney, who has kayaked the Grand over a hundred times. He told me, “Hey, you have to get to a point where you have fun in these rapids.

Vote for Trish!

My good friend Tricia Downing is in the running to win a wheelchair accessible van and she needs your help! Trish is an amazing athlete who was paralyzed from the waist down after a car hit her while she was riding her bike. That hasn't stopped her and she's now doing incredible things, such as starting Camp Discovery for women affected by injury or disease.

Soldiers To Summits accepting applications

I'm excited to announce that the next Soldiers To Summit program will culminate in October with an expedition to the Peruvian Andes! Please help spread the word about this fantastic opportunity for injured veterans--the deadline for applications is June 3rd.

Today Show article on blind skiing

Last Friday, I went skiing at Vail with my usual guide, Jeff Ulrich, and a producer from NBC news. Jack Chesnutt just posted this article on the Today Show Health blog.

Round 2: Usumacinta River, Mexico

In March, my team and I traveled to Mexico to kayak the Usumacinta River again. We returned to the Usu because it’s as an easy winter training ground. Getting there is simple, just fly to Houston and then to Chiapas, Mexico. It’s relatively safe—there haven’t been any kidnappings since the 90’s. And it’s a high volume river that is good practice for the Grand Canyon. The Usu is also quite the contrast to the Colorado River because it cuts through a very dramatic limestone gorge with steep walls that rise up higher than El Capitan and you are surrounded by jungle.