our sponsors, you wouldn't see this site, please visit our
Weihenmayer Heads For Elbrus: His Sixth Summit
Today Show Sends Him Off With Warm Wishes
Targets 10,000 Ski Descent
Day Special Replays June 23
Weihenmayer, former schoolteacher and wrestling coach
from Golden, Colorado, leaves today with 7 members of
his 2001 Everest team for Mt. Elbrus, hoping to make
it his 6th continental summit. Elbrus, situated
between the Black and Caspian Seas in the Caucasus
Mountains, stands at 18,513 as the watchtower
between the steppes of Russia on its north and
Azerbaydzani, Georgia and Armenia on its south.
Regrettably, the area is best known today for the
political turmoil which exists nearby in Georgia and
Chechnya. The Today Show has followed Eriks
adventures beginning with McKinley in 1995. Ann Curry,
whose rock climb with Erik several years ago was
featured on the show, interviewed Erik
"live" from Denver yesterday as he was
making final preparations for his climb.
team flies via Moscow to Mineral Vody, a small town in
the south of Russia. A bus ride, hike and tram later,
and the team arrives June 8 at one of the most unique
campsites in the world: the barrels, at 8000, which
are old oil tanks re-fitted with rudimentary furniture
and electricity by the Russians, and which will serve
as sleeping quarters and base camp for the expedition.
a snow dome covered with glaciers, is appropriately
called Little Antarctica. Its severe weather combined
with ice and snow to the summit will test even these
Everest climbers, who will then attempt a ski descent
from the summit back to base camp. Erik has been
training throughout the winter and spring with Elbrus
teammates in preparation for skiing this 10,000
steep slope. Erik would be the first blind skier to
complete this run.
Allegra-NFB 2002 Elbrus Expedition can be followed on
EverestNews.com The climb is being sponsored by
Allegra and the National Federation of the Blind,
sponsors of the record-setting Everest Expedition in
2001. The anticipated summit date is June 14 or 15.
successful Elbrus ascent will move Erik one step
closer to his dream of climbing the Seven Summits, the
highest peaks on each of the seven continents. He
would join 100 elite mountaineers worldwide who have
reached that milestone. Eriks plan is to climb
Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, the Oceania summit, his
7th and final, in September. This would realize a
dream which began on June 23, 1995, Helen Kellers
birthday, when he reached the summit of McKinley.
these two expeditions, Erik will tour 9 Air Force
bases in Europe, in July, spreading his uplifting
message both to military personnel and to students on
the bases, and thanking them for their service to the
cause of freedom and democracy around the world. On
June 29, Erik will be honored with a Victor Award, on
the longest-running sports award show on TV (FOX).
Erik to Elbrus will be Everest teammates Eric
Alexander, who will "call " for Erik on his
ski descent; Gavin Attwood, training partner; Luis
Benitez and Chris Morris, expedition leaders; Kevin
Cherilla, Everest Base Camp manager, Didrik Johnck,
Everest and now Elbrus photographer, whose photo of
Erik made the cover of Time Magazine; and Michael
Brown and Kim Johnson, cinematographers whose Everest
documentary just played at the Telluride Mountain Film
Festival and is expected to air on TV soon.
Pie, the Mothers Day Special which received
accolades for its sensitive portrayal of the impact of
mothers on their famous athletic sons and daughters,
will replay on ESPN2 on Sunday, June 23, at 4 p.m.
EDT. Eriks segment, which runs 5th among 9 sports
figures including Shaq, Mia Hamm, Grant Hill and
Brandi Chastain, was enthusiastically praised by
critics. It is a wonderful tribute to his deceased
mom, and is definitely worth watching.