Words of Encouragement - Forget the Suffering

Sometimes I have the opportunity to help school groups by offering words of encouragement. Particularly for blind students, hearing it from another blind person means more than what a sighted person tells them. Recently my friend Chris Lynch asked me to speak to his group of students before they made a grueling climb of Mount Baldy. At 10,064 feet, this is the highest point in Los Angeles County and the third highest peak in Southern California.

Meet My Kenyan Namesake

But it’s not what you think! My friend, Joash from Nairobi, told me, if we summited Kenya, he'd name his unborn son after me. Darndest thing—he did just that. Meet Oliver Weihenmayer Nambute.

Rollins Pass training ride

As some of you know, my tandem partner, John Lemon, and I are training for the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race, which is just a month away. We've been doing local rides on the road bike during the week and getting out for longer rides on my mountain bike on the weekends. This past Sunday, rode over 11,680-foot Rollins Pass--both ways!

Alpamayo — First Blind Ascent

Alpamayo is a mountain that pulls at the heartstrings of all climbers. Even though I can’t see it, I know that it is one of the world’s most beautiful mountains. Anyone with a sense of adventure who does see its dramatic southwest face can’t help but imagine following the natural lines to the summit. I’ve been thinking about this mountain for years and finally made it happen.

Third Time's A Charm - Guest Blog

Occasionally, I like to share inspirational stories from friends who are doing great things. Here is a terrific race report by Trish Downing — I love her spirit! A lifelong athlete, Trish was paralyzed from the waist down in September 2000 when a car turned in front of her bike. Rather than let adversity overwhelm her, she took on the new challenges and is now competing again as a wheelchair athlete.

Alpamayo Teaser

If you’ve been following me on FaceBook or Twitter, then you know I recently returned from a successful climb in Peru. My friend, Eric Alexander, and I traveled to the Cordillera Blanca to climb Alpamayo—a 19,500 foot peak that easily ranks as one of the most beautiful mountains on the planet. We are still processing all of our photos and videos, so this post is mostly a teaser. I’ll get the full trip report up in a couple of weeks. But I’ve had so many people asking about our climb that I wanted to tell you a bit about our ascent now.

Adventure TEAM Challenge around the corner!

In just a couple of weeks, 5-person teams from across the nation will converge on Leadville, Colorado for what is truly an amazing race. The 4th Adventure TEAM Challenge is a two-day event featuring trail running, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, rock climbing, rappelling, zip lines, and race orienteering. What sets this apart from other adventure races: each team has at least two disabled athletes, one of whom is a wheelchair user.

Backpacker Magazine Article - Blind Photography

Take a look at the current (June 2010) issue of Backpacker for a brief article about how I learned to become a photographer. Now I know what you’re thinking: a blind photographer is as much of an oxymoron as a blind climber! Well it just so happens I learned to take photographs on a climbing trip.

Alabama commencement address

I’ve been traveling a lot lately, both for adventures and corporate talks. It’s an exhausting schedule but sometimes an event really stands out. Recently I had the great honor to give the commencement address to 1,000 graduating students at the University of South Alabama. With over 10,000 people attending, I talked about becoming a modern-day alchemist by taking lead and turning it into gold.

No Barriers Fundraiser

A couple weeks ago, I visited Minneapolis to participate in a fundraiser for No Barriers USA. This non-profit organization's goal is to promote innovative ideas, approaches, and assistive technologies that help people with disabilities push through their own personal barriers to live full and active lives. The local newspaper ran a front page story about my visit and we had a terrific turnout.