Expedition Impossible's Team No Limits on making the finals and climbing Everest blind
Just over ten years ago, Golden-based mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer made history as the first blind man to make the summit on Mount Everest, then went on to complete the Seven Summits -- the tallest peaks on each continent -- in 2008. Weihenmayer, with the help of his friend Jeff Evans, has completed dozens of other amazing feats (like finishing the grueling Leadville Trail 100 on a tandem mountain bike) and has written two books, Touch the Top of the World and The Adversity Challenge, that challenge all definitions of the word "impossible."
Photo by Gilles Mingasson, courtesy ABC Erik Weihenmayer and No Limits teammate Jeff Evans set out for adventure in Episode 1 of ABC's "Expedition Impossible."
That made the duo a perfect choice for ABC's new reality competition series Expedition Impossible, where they and teammate Aaron "Ike" Isaacson raced through Morocco in a month-long adventure packed with challenges pitting them against a dozen other teams. They surprised even themselves by making it all the way to the final four, and they're throwing a finale-watching party tonight at the Lazy Dog Saloon in Boulder, 1346 Pearl Street, to celebrate. We caught up with Weihenmayer and Evans, two thirds of the No Limits team, to get the scoop on everything but a spoiler for tonight's episode.
Westword: Congrats on making it to the finale and making for some awfully compelling television along the way!
Jeff Evans: Thanks! ABC has done a good job of showing something that, really, Erik and I have been doing together for a long time, which is getting out there and having some adventures together against all odds.
Obviously you've had a lot of people cheering you on over the last decade, but I'm curious: Is there a different level of recognition now because of this show?
Erik Weihenmayer: It's not like we set out to be reality TV stars or anything, but it is kind of cool to be getting emails from people saying, "You guys are my kids' heroes." We get hundreds of these things, and we've been getting people coming up to us in airports to congratulate us. It's been pretty wild.
Evans: More than anything I think the cool thing is the conversations people are having with their families about what's possible and about what they'd do with they're lives if they were disabled or if a good friend of theirs was disabled. For us it was just another adventure, but then all of a sudden as the episodes have been airing we're realizing that people have really been affected by what we've been able to accomplish over the course of the show.