Summitting Everest led the founder of the nonprofit organization No Barriers USA to even greater heights—changing other people's lives.
In 2001 he became the first blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. But the biggest undertaking of Erik Weihenmayer's life began after he climbed the world’s tallest peak.
Having conquered his own hurdles to become a globe-trotting adventurer, Weihenmayer wanted to help others overcome their limitations. So in 2003, he cofounded No Barriers, an organization that leads people on challenging journeys to build their confidence and help them discover what they're capable of. "We think of No Barriers as a mindset that helps you find purpose in life," he says. "It's not just about blind people or extreme adventure people. It's about those who struggle with different frailties and fears and anxieties, which includes pretty much everyone alive."
Every trip encourages people to leave their comfort zones. "Part of the equation is to do something scary, because it makes you feel vulnerable," Weihenmayer says. "It’s a gauntlet you have to go through."
Weihenmayer’s third book, No Barriers: A Blind Man’s Journey to Kayak the Canyon, came out in February 2017.