November 17, 2010
Got fears? Got unfilled dreams? Get The Summit!
Few people have the opportunity, wherewithal, or skills that Eric Alexander possesses. A skier, climber, and mountaineer, who fell in love with the outdoors at a young age, Eric lives out his faith while helping others to achieve their dreams.
The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest's Death Zone chronicles the adventures of Alexander and his team(s), which often includes people with disabilities, as they travel and tackle some of the most perilous peaks in the world.
The author gives an awesome "behind the scenes" view of what it requires as a leader and team member on these expeditions. I learned a great deal geographically and culturally about: Ama Dablam, Mount Everest, Mount Elbrus, Pisco, Machu Pichu, Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, & Denali. The glossary provided was very useful in understanding any of the terms related to climbing.
I found The Summit to be quite gripping. I laughed, I cried, and I was challenged as the author recounted both humorous and tragic stories in a very vivid way. Eric is a wonderful storyteller who has the ability to make the reader feel as though they were there. That made the book very enjoyable to read.
Throughout The Summit Alexander shares about his friend Erik Weihenmayer whose goal of climbing some of the most difficult mountains in the world has shattered people's perceptions about what is possible for both blind and sighted people. Erik Weihenmayer, who is blind has without a doubt, with the help of his faithful guide, accomplished his goal. Anyone who attempts to climb mountains is ambitious, in my opinion, but those who do so despite disabilities are truly inspirational. They inspire you to revisit and revise your thoughts about what is possible when you truly believe.
One of the greatest strengths in the author's life is his faith. It not only helps in climbing mountains, or leading teams, but in daily life situations. Along with sharing stories about the various trips, Eric shares spiritual reflections at the end of each chapter from which I found myself taking notes.
For instance: "If you only trust God as far as you can throw Him, you don't trust at all. You have got to trust Him as far as He can throw you. If we approach trust in the Lord like we do human relationships, that is to way with a piece of our heart leaning on our own understanding, we will fail. Maybe you can only give a piece at a time; that is okay, but be determined to give it all. Later you will gain it all." What a challenge!
And what a challenge this book is, period. If you are interested in a breath-taking look at mountain climbing this book is for you. If you are interested in better understanding what it takes to be a great leader or team player you will benefit from this book. If you or someone you know is disabled or discouraged and in need of inspiration to fulfill their dreams, look no further, The Summit will provide new hope and determination regardless of your age or station in life.
Eric Alexander, skier, climber, and mountaineer is achieving his goals while playing an instrumental role in helping others to achieve their own. On May 25th 2001 Eric defied the odds and scaled Mt. Everest guiding his blind- friend Erik Weihenmayer to its lofty 29,035′ summit. In 2002 the pair 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 shares this inspirational story with audiences all over the country and when he is not 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.
Eric grew up in the Colorado Rockies and started climbing in his teens. He was a member of 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 Himalaya and other mountainous regions of the globe.
To learn more about Eric visit his website here.
You can find my interview with the author here.
Download the first two chapters of The Summit here.
Purchase a copy of The Summit here.
Share this book trailer video for an opportunity to win one of two Kindles loaded with The Summit. Details can be found here.
My thanks to Eric Alexander for sharing his testimony and stories. Also, thank to New Leaf Publishing Group for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book.