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 Erik Weihenmayer Reaches His 6th Continental Summit

Sights Now Set On Seventh Summit in September

Erik Nominated For An ESPY

Erik Weihenmayer stood on the 18,513’ snow dome of Mt. Elbrus celebrating yesterday at approximately 2:30 p.m., after a 12 1/2 hour climb through snow to the summit. Reports from the mountain are sketchy, but Erik, on weary legs, then skied down a few thousand feet and, if weather permits, he will continue his ski descent today. Elbrus, situated between the Caspian and Black Seas in the Caucasus Mountains which separate Europe from Asia, becomes his 6th continental summit.   

Erik moves one step closer to his dream to stand on the highest peak on each of the seven land continents, a feat accomplished by approximately 100 elite mountaineers worldwide. Preparations are already underway for the "finale", Carstensz Pyramid in Papua, the Seventh Summit, which is scheduled to commence August 24. These climbs plus Everest are sponsored by Allegra and the National Federation of the Blind. 

Seven teammates from his historic Everest climb in May 2001 stood together with him on Elbrus’ summit. This symbolizes the tremendous cohesiveness which exists within this team, one of the major reasons for its continued successes. Many Everest teammates will also join the climb in Papua, which begins in a tropical forest and ends with a 2000’ rock climb to the top. Political unrest in this area is a concern, and the climbers may receive special protection provided by the Indonesian government during their expedition.

The team summited Elbrus earlier than planned, a welcomed treat to Luis Benitez and Chris Morris, team leaders who joined this expedition directly from guiding on Everest and McKinley respectively, and to Erik, who scheduled the Elbrus expedition so as to arrive home in time for daughter Emma’s 2nd birthday on June 21.

The ESPY Award nominees have been announced, and Erik is one of three people nominated for Best Disabled Athlete; the others are Steve Pate and Sarah Will. The 10th Annual ESPY Awards include the biggest names in sports: Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds, Jennifer Capriati, Sarah Hughes, Annika Sorenstam, and Venus Williams. The show will be aired live from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on ESPN on Wednesday, July 10 at 9:00 p.m. EDT. Erik and Ellie will be sitting in the audience waiting with anticipation to see if Erik will be the one to step up onto the stage, with guidedog Seigo, of course. You can be there too, in a front row seat!

Two weeks earlier, on June 29, Erik will receive a Victor Award, at the longest running sports award show on TV. The 35th Annual Victor Awards will be presented at the Hilton Theatre in Las Vegas during a two-hour live telecast beginning at 9:00 p.m. EDT on FOX.

Definitely worth watching: the replay of the Mother’s Day Special, Apple Pie, which focuses on 9 athletes and the special relationships they have with their moms. The show plays June 23 at 4:00 p.m. EDT on ESPN2.


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