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No Barriers

Cover of No Barriers

No Barriers

A Blind Man's Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon

Erik Weihenmayer is the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Descending carefully, he and his team picked their way across deep crevasses and through the deadly Khumbu Icefall; when the mountain was finally behind him, Erik knew he was going to live. His expedition leader slapped him on the back and said something that would affect the course of Erik's life: "Don't make Everest the greatest thing you ever do."

No Barriers is Erik's response to that challenge. It is the moving story of his journey since descending Mount Everest: from leading expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers to helping injured soldiers climb their way home from war, from adopting a son from Nepal to facing the most terrifying reach of his life: to solo kayak the thunderous whitewater of the Grand Canyon. Along the course of Erik's journey, he meets other trailblazers—adventurers, scientists, artists, and activists—who, despite trauma, hardship, and loss, have broken through barriers of their own. These pioneers show Erik surprising ways forward that surpass logic and defy traditional thinking. Like the rapids of the Grand Canyon, created by inexorable forces far beneath the surface, No Barriers is a dive into the heart and mind at the core of the turbulent human experience. It is an exploration of the light that burns in all of us, the obstacles that threaten to extinguish that light, and the treacherous ascent towards growth and rebirth.

This program includes a bonus interview with the author and his climbing partner as well as a forward read by Bob Woodruff.

Erik Weihenmayer is the first and only blind person to summit Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Descending carefully, he and his team picked their way across deep crevasses and through the deadly Khumbu Icefall; when the mountain was finally behind him, Erik knew he was going to live. His expedition leader slapped him on the back and said something that would affect the course of Erik's life: "Don't make Everest the greatest thing you ever do."

No Barriers is Erik's response to that challenge. It is the moving story of his journey since descending Mount Everest: from leading expeditions around the world with blind Tibetan teenagers to helping injured soldiers climb their way home from war, from adopting a son from Nepal to facing the most terrifying reach of his life: to solo kayak the thunderous whitewater of the Grand Canyon. Along the course of Erik's journey, he meets other trailblazers—adventurers, scientists, artists, and activists—who, despite trauma, hardship, and loss, have broken through barriers of their own. These pioneers show Erik surprising ways forward that surpass logic and defy traditional thinking. Like the rapids of the Grand Canyon, created by inexorable forces far beneath the surface, No Barriers is a dive into the heart and mind at the core of the turbulent human experience. It is an exploration of the light that burns in all of us, the obstacles that threaten to extinguish that light, and the treacherous ascent towards growth and rebirth.

This program includes a bonus interview with the author and his climbing partner as well as a forward read by Bob Woodruff.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 12, 2016
    Named after Weihenmayer’s support organization, this memoir reads like an extension of its mission statement, right down to the concluding “No Barriers Pledges.” After Weihenmayer (Touch the Top of the World), a blind adventurist, scales Mt. Everest, his expedition leader advises him not to let that be “the greatest thing you ever do.” Weihenmayer, an American, takes the advice, leading blind Tibetan children and veterans on climbs and conducting countless other courageous feats. Spinning minutia as intimacy is an unexpected, unpleasant wrinkle. The book is part Facebook post (“The journey began to take on a metaphorical meaning”) and part résumé, detailing Weihenmayer’s personal and professional travails en route to the goal mentioned in the title. Weihenmayer’s inability to pare down the selection of anecdotes—all covered in CEO life lesson–speak or ponderous dialogue straight from gift-store inspirational storybooks (“In your talk, Erik, I remember you referring to an internal light that exists in people”)—makes it impossible to care. This is heroism as a reference book. The amount of material is so mind-numbing and the diversions from the ultimate goal are so numerous that the only thing readers will be amazed by is that Weihenmayer’s accomplishments manage to be boring. Two 16-page color photo inserts.

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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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No Barriers
No Barriers
A Blind Man's Journey to Kayak the Grand Canyon
Erik Weihenmayer
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