So what's harder than climbing all seven of the peaks when you're blind? How about trying to lead a group of novice climbers, all teenagers, to the top of a 23,000-foot-tall mountain that neighbors Mount Everest? That's the challenge Weihenmayer took on in 2004. With a camera crew chronicling their every move, Weihenmayer and six students from Braille Without Borders, a groundbreaking Tibet-based school for the blind, hiked up a peak called Lhakpa Ri. Along the very difficult way toward the top, Weihenmayer clashed with the school's founder, Sabriye Tenberken. Weihenmayer wanted to push hard for the summit. Tenberken, who had initially invited Weihenmayer to simply conduct a "small climbing workshop" with her students, was glad to see the students accomplish any part of the climb. That difference, along with each of the students' inspirational personal stories, is the basis for the gripping new documentary Blindsight. For his part, Weihenmayer says the film and the climb taught him that achievement isn't always found at the summit.



  • Image about Erik Weihenmayer
On why Weihenmayer says he took on the challenge of the climb"Sabriye Tenberken's work makes these kids feel it's okay to be who they are. I thought it would be cool to continue Sabriye's work, to make an impact the way I could make it. [I wanted] to teach them that the outdoors is an environment that's hostile and chaotic, especially if you're blind. But to flourish in the outdoors helps you in other areas of your life - being able to push through adversity, relying on your team to be able to do that, relying on yourself, using things that are tough to push yourself forward."