Lafayette College Commencement 2015

On Saturday, May 23rd, I had the privilege of delivering the commencement speech to the graduating class of 2015 at Lafayette College. The commencement ceremony was a huge success and I owe a great deal of thanks to President Alison Byerly, Marie Enea, and Jim Krivoski, for their warm hospitality.   Lafayette Commencement 2015 from Erik Weihenmayer

Mayflower Gulch Training Day

As I plan for my Mt. Huntington ascent, I’m training for the long hard days that are typical for big Alaska climbs. It’s important to mix up cardio, strength and just being outside on your feet all day. Backcountry skiing last week at Mayflower Gulch between Copper Mountain and Leadville provided the perfect setting. Timmy O’Neill described it as a “cathedral of gendarmes plastered with late season snow.” Deep in the cirque, I could hear the echo of the ridgeline standing out against the immensity of the sky.

Cannon School takes No Barriers Pledge

I had a great time today chatting with middle school students at the Cannon School in Concord, NC. I met one of their teachers, Leigh Northrup, when I was kayak training at the US National Whitewater Center. Leigh and the other teachers have been working with their students on the Touch The Top Curriculum that I developed to help my story come to life in the classroom.

The Way to See Hoover Dam

As I mentioned, my Pure Insurance talk fell at the same time as my kids’ spring break, so we decided to bring them for a Vegas adventure trip. Vegas isn’t known for being kid-friendly or for outdoor experiences. However, you can find mini-adventures everywhere. Although the Hoover Dam is controversial for damaging the Colorado River, one of the most beautiful and fragile rivers in North America, I still thought it would be interesting to check it out. No matter what your opinion, it’s a pretty impressive feat of construction.

Climbing, Kayaking, and Eating in Taiwan

Just back from a work/play trip to Taiwan and for anyone who has never been, like me, I just assumed it was a flat tropical island. I could not have been more wrong. Taiwan turned out to be a rugged but verdant paradise not to be believed. Massive peaks rise to nearly 13,000 feet nearly straight out of the South China Sea. As a narrow island, on clear days from these summits you can see both the Taiwanese Strait and the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. However, the real gems are the people.

Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Changing Lives in East Africa

When a group of friends and I joined together to form Kilimanjaro Blind Trust in 2005, we hoped to increase access to basic equipment that would allow blind and visually impaired children in East Africa to live a more purposeful life. None of us anticipated how the organization’s reach would explode within the first decade of its existence. It is beyond thrilling to be able to report just how big of an influence they have had on the education of thousands of young people in East Africa.

If It Were 60 Degrees Warmer, It'd Be Freezing Out Here!

Mt. Katahdin, the highest point in Maine and the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, rises dramatically above the surrounding lowland lake country. Named by the Penobscot tribe, it means “The Greatest Mountain.”  A New England classic, Katahdin has been on my tick list for a long time, and especially as a winter mountaineering ascent. So I enlisted a few buddies: my colleague - Skyler Williams, long time friend - Bob Vilter from CT, Charley Mace - who has been with me to summits around the world, and our local guide and cold-weather expert  - Dick Chasse. 

Erik and The Ribbon, Round 4

Warm sunny weather drew my good friend Rob Raker and me back to the San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado to try and knock off some of the classic climbs that have eluded me over the years. The first, Ames Ice Hose, is infamous among climbers, and located just off the road to Ophir, outside of Telluride. I’ve been skunked several times by bad conditions and competing parties of climbers, so we left at 5:00 am to make sure we were the first ones there. Arriving to an empty parking lot, we breathed a sigh of relief at having the area to ourselves for the time being.

You Are the Wind Beneath My Climb

The flatirons that sit above Boulder, Colorado are one of the most iconic images of the Colorado Front Range. They are also one of my favorite places for rock climbing. A absolute classic, the First Flatiron is perched above the world-famous Chautauqua Park, and rumor has it that there are killer views at the top. A couple of my very talented climbing buddies, Charley Mace and Timmy O’Neill, joined me for a little adventure a few weeks ago.

Freedom Fidos

Some of you are familiar with my involvement in No Barriers Warriors, formerly Soldiers to Summits. It is exciting to report news that makes us all proud and reflects so highly on the program. Matt Burgess was on our second program when we climbed 19,347' Cotopaxi in Ecuador. It’s safe to say that Matt struggled throughout that trip physically and mentally, but he reached the summit and says the experience was a catalyst to transformation.