Blind Adventurer Erik Weihenmayer Plans to Kayak Grand Canyon

Four years ago, blind adventurer Erik Weihenmayer began paddling a kayak. Weihenmayer, the first blind person to summit Everest, plans to become the first blind person to kayak the Grand Canyon. He's training now for a 2013 expedition. “I think blind kayaking is a different sport than a sighted person kayaking because you rely on your eyes so much,” he told The New York Times. “I’m trying to feel what’s under my boat and what’s under my paddle, and to use my ears, and everything is happening so quickly. Without eyes it’s like sensory overload.”

Reporter Erik Olson put together a great article and video that goes behind the scenes with the 44-year-old Weihenmayer as he trains at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Watch the 2010 video above of one of Weihenmayer's first whitewater training sessions, then head over to the The New York Times to see how much he has progressed.

To follow dispatches during his training, visit his website at

—Joe Spring

Filed To: Paddling
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