ESTES PARK, Colo. — Erik Weihenmayer thinks everyone should be able to enjoy the outdoors.
The 53-year-old mountain climber from Golden started losing his sight when he was 14 years old and was completely blind by 16. He later became the first blind person to summit Mount Everest in 2001.
Long before his big feat, Weihenmayer fell in love with rock climbing the first time he tried it when he was just a teenager.
"Feeling my way up the rock face and trying to engage my brain thinking about these patterns in the rock, it was just all about adventure, and that's what I was craving in my life, so yeah, just kept climbing," he said.
Weihenmayer has since started a nonprofit, No Barriers, which welcomes people of all abilities to embrace the outdoors and go on a hike together. Every year he hosts the No Barriers Summit, which takes place this weekend in Estes Park.
"The goal is not just to summit yourself, but to help your rope team and your group all reach the summit," Weihenmayer said. "Some of the folks need a little bit of support, so people can come on out and join a rope team and support somebody maybe who is in a chair or who needs to be guided up the mountain. So it's really kind of a community building activity."
The No Barriers website has more information on the organization and the summit, as well as an option to stream the summit.