Christian Broadcasting Network


David Darg


The Summit


  • May 25, 2001 - Part of the Everest Team to set 5 World Records: Blindest Man, Oldest Man, Biggest team, Biggest Camera, 1st US Father & Son
  • Awards: Alliance For People with Disabilities: Award for Inspiration. Denver, CO October 23 2001; Colorado House of Representatives: Resolution to honor 2001 NFB Everest team April 16, 2002; Colorado Rockies: Opening Pitch at Coors Field August 18, 2001, Award for Courage 2001; Presidential Invitation: The White House Washington D.C.

  • Education: B.A. in Environmental Science, Univ. of Denver, CO;

  • Eric is married to Amy, and they have twin daughters.


Eric Alexander

By Ashley Andrews, 700 Club Interactive

Eric Alexander met Erik Weihenmayer (Erik W.) when Eric's wheelchair-bound roommate, Darol, let Erik W. sleep on their couch after a skiing expedition. The two Erics learned they had a passion for climbing and began local climbs in the Vail, CO mountains. On one climb, Eric eagerly accepted when Erik W. invited him to go and guide him on the Everest expedition. Eric was already an avid outdoorsman (he loves to ski and climb) and mountaineer. He also had a job working with blind skiers at a resort. On May 25, 2001, Eric and a team of 19 climbers made history when they climbed Mt. Everest, the world's highest mountain at 29,035'.

This climb was one of the most successful team climbs. Time magazine covered the story because it was the first time a blind person ascended Mt. Everest. The team included Eric's friend, Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind man to summit. The other four of the five world records included the oldest man at age 64, the largest team, first American father and son team, and the largest camera to the summit. Eric says Erik W. is a person with vision. Their Everest team was an unlikely bunch of people, underdogs. Many people who attempted to climb Mt. Everest failed and died. Eric's team knew this as they made their ascent. When Eric's team completed the climb there was joy and a good kind of pride. It was a TEAM effort. Eric was Erik W.'s eyes and Erik W. was Eric's support. Eric says he wouldn't have made the climb without Erik W. On the Everest expedition they encountered everything. They had to overcome their mountains figuratively and physically. It also dealt with relationships. Eric says that after the climb the team was fortunate that their relationships stayed in tact, which isn't always the case.

In 2002 Eric and Erik W. traveled to Russia and climbed Mt. Elbrus at 18,500 ft, and again found success on Mt. Kosciusko, Australia -- two more of the seven summits (the highest points on each of the seven continents) notably the pair skied from the top of each of these latter two - making this the first-ever blind ski descents. Eric still stays in contact with the team and does things occasionally. Recently the Everest team reunited to lead a Nepal climb with veterans. Eric still stays in touch with Erik W. and the two remain close friends. Eric shares his inspirational stories with audiences all over the country. When he isn't traveling he teaches disabled skiers in Vail, Colorado and directs Adventures Beyond Limits, an organization that educates and encourages youth with disabilities in the outdoors and encourages them to have courage and set out to do the really hard and impossible things with Jesus.

One of Eric's key scriptures has been Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 12 (KJV) "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Teamwork was very important for the Everest climb and this scripture proved true. Here are some other key lessons that Eric learned on the climb:

*Courage - The courage to serve others. This type of courage forces you to get out of your comfort zone and believe for something bigger than yourself. You sacrifice yourself for the sake of others (like in the military to serve and protect). For Eric an example of this would be each time he had to guide Erik W. across some ladders. On the ladder, it was more important for Eric to see Erik succeed. Soon, the next thing Eric knew was that Eric was across the ladder.

*Trust - Because Erik W. is blind, his trust is greater. He took Eric at his word and had to trust that Eric had Erik W.'s best in mind. Eric likens that to his own faith in God - to have faith and trust in Him. Though we can't see and the road is bumpy, keep in mind that God has our best interests in mind.

* Teamwork - unity - The team couldn't have done it without each other.

* Perseverance - An example would be when they were at Camp 4, almost to the summit of Mount Everest. A leader of the other team was trying to discourage them when they were almost at the top. Eric's team had to persevere despite of that. They climbed through a white out (where nothing is visible but snow). Also, Eric wrestled with old fears from the year before (when he got High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) - fluid in the lungs caused by being at a high altitude and had a 150 ft fall). However, he overcame his fears and was able to climb 26,000 feet without oxygen.

*Leadership - Eric learned about selfless leadership when their team leader Pasquale had to turn around after they reached Camp 4. He was too tired and his foot hurt, but he let go of his need to reach the summit for the betterment of the others on the team. Also, Eric learned that on their team there were different leaders at different times with different leadership styles.

Personally Eric was wrestling with fear and doubt, especially doubt. A year before, Eric fell 150' in the Himalayas on Mt. Amadablam. Eric developed pulmonary edema and he needed to be airlifted to safety. For eight months he struggled with pneumonia and was unable to train for Everest. When invited to climb Everest he really didn't want to make the climb initially. Eric really prayed and put his faith and trust in God. Before being a part of the Everest team, Eric asked God to close doors if he wasn't supposed to do things. Eric says it seems that the doors opened wider. Eric believes that God had a purpose which wasn't for Eric to make it to the summit; God wanted Eric to trust Him. When Eric finally did reach the summit, he felt that God wasn't impressed because He made the summit. Eric felt that God is more impressed with us humbly serving Him and trusting Him. Other things that Eric learned are about prayer: It is important not to step out alone, prayer support is important, and seeking God in prayer throughout the journey is key. For Eric, the greatest thing in the whole experience is what it did for his relationship with God. Eric learned how we are God's hands and feet and we need to go where He sends us. After Eric's mountain-top experience, life continued. He went to Disneyworld with his family, had an appearance at the White House, and climbed Kilimanjaro. He is still living his life. He still gets frustrated and meets everyday challenges about things in life, but reflects on his Mount Everest experience. It is his Ebenezer (his reminder of what God has done). Climbing Mount Everest is an accomplishment but don't keep looking for these types of events to satisfy.

Eric grew up in a Christian home in the Colorado Rockies. He attended youth group and truly understood the Gospel message when he was in middle school. In his teens his youth group leaders were world class outdoor sportsmen. His love of outdoor sports and his faith grew. He started climbing, skiing, etc. They were such an influence on Eric's faith, life, and sports that they are still his friends to this day. In college he was a member of Campus Crusade and the University of Denver ski team, which led him to pursue work as a Ski Patrolman in Vail and in the French Alps, as well as instructing at Beaver Creek Resort. Eric has successfully climbed the highest point on six of the seven continents and led expeditions throughout Europe, North America, South America, the Himalayas and other mountainous regions of the globe.