Accessing Zion Narrows

Two weeks ago, I teamed up with the Trust for Public Land (TPL) to help preserve access to an incredible part of the United States. It was my third project with TPL, previously working to open the trail to Wilson Peak, an iconic  14,017-foot mountain in southwestern Colorado, and Bridal Veil Falls, the spectacular 365-foot waterfall above Telluride, Colorado, and the tallest free-standing waterfall in the country.

Peru Kayaking Adventure

This summer, I was originally planning to kayak Hell’s Canyon on the Snake River as part of my training for the Grand Canyon, But my friend Rocky Contos at SierraRios Adventures contacted me about some trips he had planned in Peru. As you may recall, In January, a group of us joined Rocky on a descent of the Usumacinta River in Mexico. We had such a good time that I didn’t hesitate to go on another adventure with Rocky.

Baskis Wins Major Award

I am delighted to announce that my friend Steve Baskis has been chosen to receive the Louis Braille Award by the Associated Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired (ASB). This is a very prestigious honor recognizing the achievements of a blind person for the the visually impaired community (I won in 2007). The award ceremony is January 25 in Philadelphia and I plan to attend.

Baby News

Some exciting baby news from two good friends: Michael Brown and Brian Smith. On Friday, August 31st, Julia gave birth to Gordon Vincent Brown a strapping lad at 8 lbs 10 oz. I'm sure young Gordy will have an awesome life! After all, his dad was the filmmaker with me on Everest and has made many awesome films including High Ground. And Gordy's mom owns the South Side Walnut Cafe, one of the best breakfast and lunch spots in Boulder.

The Heroic Journey

After I posted about our Soldiers To Summits training that we held last month, several people asked me about our selection of the Heroic Journey metaphor as the overarching theme of the program. A lot of the credit for that belongs to Peter Bailey, who is Senior Vice President at the Prouty Project.

Blind Encounters with Jeff Evans

My longtime friend, climbing partner, and No Limits teammate Jeff Evans was recently featured in the alumnus magazine for the University of Colorado. Check it out, it's a good read. I heard he even took a shower before the photo shoot ;-)

Scarpa Interview

Recently, the folks at SCARPA North America interviewed me for their community blog. As you may know, I am extremely pleased to be sponsored by SCARPA, the premier manufacturer of outdoor footwear. Since I am blind, I am more dependent upon quality shoes and boots than most athletes. For almost all of my sports—from rock climbing to mountaineering to trail running to backcountry skiing—SCARPA makes the best products on the market. (On the river, I wear Chaco sandals.)

But...He's Gay!

There might be one or two people left on the planet who haven't seen the infamous "Gay Climber" blooper. It's literally be watched by millions of people and is still a YouTube sensation. I had never met Cynthia Izaguirre, the news anchor who made that gaffe. But on a trip to Dallas, I visited the TV station where she now works and we discussed what happened: 

Mike Is At It Again!

My friend Mike Armstrong is doing another fundraiser to support the Foundation for Blind Children. This time he and his partner are going to ride a tandem road bike 390 miles across Arizona, from east to west, over 5 days in September. Their goal is to raise $25,000 for the foundation.

A Dream Comes True

Earlier this year, I was contacted by the Make-A-Wish Foundation because they had a teenager who wanted to meet me. When he was just 15 years old, Tim Conners was stricken with leukemia. He underwent three months of radiation, chemotherapy treatments, and spinal taps but they were ineffective at stopping the disease. Finally,  a bone marrow transfer from his older brother, Mike, saved Tim's life. But there were many complications, one of which caused him to go blind.