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No Limits to What We Can Achieve World-Class Adventurer Eric Alexander

Two more down, four to go.  That is if I choose to make the seven summits a goal of mine.  This summer I had the good fortune of being able to ski off the summits of Mt. Elbrus in Russia and Mt. Kosciusko in Australia.  What a great time, perhaps if there is enough snow on Kili and Aconcogua I will give skiing off six of the seven a try.  What made these two ski descents more special is that I was Erik Weihenmayer’s ski guide as he too skied off of these two summits.  One would anticipate the weather to be much more foul at 18,500’ than at 6,800’ in the spring down under, but the reality of it was that this little mountain put up quite a fight.  While in Russia we did have a whiteout for our summit bid, the temperature was quite nice and there was little wind.  The 4” of snow the night before gave us what looked to be great skiing for the way down. 
To our dismay it served only to hide the 45 degree icy blue slope beneath - it didn’t matter, to be able to ski 9,500 non-stop vertical feet in such a beautiful part of the world was amazing.   A visit to a place economically poor but rich in culture, spirit and snow made this an experience I will long remember.
We were all set to paraglide off the summit of Mt. Kosciusko, but the winds would not have it.  To keep it legit we started at 4am September 5th making our way up the slopes now icy by the previous nights rain.  A couple of the team members, 1/3 of the way up, went for a 300M slide as they lost grip with their skins and fell spinning towards the bottom and its hard gum trees.

On our way up in the dark we fought winds up to 60mph and after reaching the top of the ski slope at sunrise came upon our next challenge - zero visibility (the blind leading the blind). Navigating by compass I was able to bring us to the peak and celebrate with champagne as EW made it #seven – all seven of the continental highest summits.  After a quick drink and a fine ski down, we were back at the lodge at 10:30am enjoying a delightful “breaky”.

That is my kind of mountaineering.  A Roo steak for dinner, a couple days at the beach and soon we were home planning our next trip to Mt. Cook New Zealand  - a peak which Climbing magazine calls the most difficult peak in the area known as Australasia.
 
Eric Alexander, a world-class skier, climber, and mountaineer is achieving his goals while playing an instrumental role in helping others to achieve their own. In 2001 he defied the odds and scaled Mt. Everest with his blind- friend Erik Weihenmayer. When not instructing disabled skiers in Vail, Colorado Eric directs Adventures Beyond Limits, an organization that educates and encourages youth with disabilities in the outdoors. For more on Eric see here. To book him e-mail mail2006@everestnews.com
 

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