1st International Blind Climbing Comp

This weekend, my friend Koichiro Kobayashi (better known as Koba) will be running the 1st International Blind Climbing Competition, which is being held in the Chiba Prefecture (about 30 minutes from downtown Tokyo). This is a major event that is sponsored by the Japanese Mountaineering Association. I was invited to compete but regrettably I had a scheduling conflict. I climbed Kilimanjaro in 2005 with Koba, and was actually part of his wedding ceremony at the base of the mountain.

Book Release - The Summit

My friend and guide, Eric Alexander, has just released his own book. Entitled The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest's Death Zone, this is his account of our famous climb, as well as our ascents of Elbrus and Kosciusko. Eric was also with me on Ama Dablam and Alpamayo. In addition, he has lead other disabled climber up other summits (including Denali, Aconcagua, and Kilimanjaro) and he teaches disabled skiing at Vail. He also directs Adventures Beyond Limits, an organization that educates and encourages youth with disabilities in the outdoors.

Expedition News

Our Soldiers To The Summit expedition is continuing to attract media attention around the nation. In the Phoenix newspaper, Dan Sidles and Kevin Cherilla were featured in a big article. And recently Chad Butrick and I were guests on the morning show of our NBC television station in Denver (click the link for an article and video of our appearance).

The Adversity Advantage – Excerpt #3

Here in the United States, we are celebrating Thanksgiving. This is our annual day to take stock and acknowledge all of our blessings. Even when there is adversity in your life, no matter how great, there is always something for which we can give thanks. This excerpt from my book, The Adversity Advantage, drives that point home. It definitely makes us thankful for all the ways we can influence our lives and futures.

2nd Race Across The Sky screening

Attention friends living in Austin, Boston, Burlington, Cedar Rapids, Colorado Springs, Columbia, Dallas, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Greensboro, Greenville, Los Angeles, Madison, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, or San Francisco areas!

No Barriers in Eldorado!

While I was away in Nepal this October climbing with our soldiers, the team at No Barriers USA held an exciting event near Boulder, Colorado. No Barriers is the non-profit organization on which I serve as a director. The purpose of this event was to raise awareness about the upcoming No Barriers Summit that will be held June 30-July 3 next summer in nearby Winter Park, Colorado.

Passing of a Great Woman

It saddens me to report the passing of Kathy Urschel, an incredible woman who was the epitome of my message about using adversity as fuel instead of letting it overwhelm you. At the age of 21, Kathy had lost her vision and by 28 she also lost her hearing (later restored with cochlear implants). Most people who had gone blind and deaf at a young age would resort to bitterness and woe-is-me outlook on life. Not Kathy! She took on adversity and showed the world that it wasn't going to keep her down.

Veterans Day Tribute

This powerful and beautiful video tribute is part of the footage that Michael Brown brought back from our Soldiers To The Summit Expedition. Please watch it and share with your friends!

Lobuche trip report

I’m finally home from my Soldiers to the Summit expedition after what seems like a long time away. I’ve actually been home for a week now dealing with a case of giardia (a nasty waterborne parasite) on the expedition that manifested itself during my last few days in country. As they say, you can leave Nepal, but it doesn’t leave you. So I’ve been laying low over the last week trying to kick this tough illness. Seems there’s often a price to pay for reaching for big things.

The Adversity Advantage - Excerpt #2

As you may know, I just returned from a month long expedition to the Himalayas helping to lead a team of injured soldiers to a 20,000+ foot summit near Everest. One team member, Steve Baskis, is not only blind but has pretty serious nerve damage on his left hand. We had three amputees, three folks who struggle with post-traumatic stress, and others who struggle with brain injuries. To use a positive pessimism, "All our soldiers have serious disabilities, but at least we're attempting a dangerous high-altitude Himalayan giant."