At 15 months old, he was diagnosed with juvenile retinoschisis, with blindness the expected outcome by age 13. At age 16, he started using a guide dog. He tried rock climbing, and found he was a natural at scrambling up a face using his hands and feet to find holds. Weihenmayer’s first big mountain was Denali, in 1995. In 2004, with Jeff Evans Sabriye Tenberken and six blind Tibetan teenagers, he climbed on the north side of Everest to 21,500 feet, higher than any group of blind people have ever stood.
He also completed the Seven Summits in September 2002, joining 150 mountaineers at the time who had accomplished that feat, but as the only climber who was blind. In 2008, he also added Carstensz Pyramid in West Papua New Guinea, the tallest peak in Australasia, thus completing the more respected Seventh Summit. Weihenmayer has also made noteworthy climbs up the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite in 1996, and ascended Losar, a 2700-foot vertical ice face in the Himalayas in 2008.
In 2005, he co-founded No Barriers, a nonprofit organization with the tagline, “What’s within you is stronger than what’s in your way.” The organization helps people of diverse backgrounds and abilities developers Mindset - to attack challenges head on, problem solve, build winning teams, and serve others.
In 2006, Erik created the Adventure Team Challenge, a first-of-its-kind adventure race in which teams of disabled and non-disabled athletes compete; his team won five years in a row. In 2010, he completed the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, with elevations all above 10,000 feet, on a tandem, once again becoming the first blind person to complete a world-class competition.
According to en.wikipedia