Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See; My Story
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Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man's Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See; My Story

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  611 ratings  ·  99 reviews

From the snowcapped summit of McKinley to the ultimate challenge of Everest, this is a story about daring to dream in the face of a seemingly insurmountable limitation. It is about finding the courage to reach for that ultimate summit and transforming your life into something truly miraculous. In this inspiring memoir, Erik Weihenmayer shares his struggle to push past the

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MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by The Audio Partners Publishing Corporation (first published February 1st 2001)
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Jackie
I liked this book, but I actually liked the parts that really had nothing to do with mountain climbing a little bit more. The book is mainly about climbing mountains, and the main guy just happens to be blind. I don't have a desire to climb mountains, and after reading this book I have less of a desire to climb mountains, if that is possible. Actually, I think it might be an advantage to climb mountains blind, because you cannot look down and think, "Yikes! The drop down is much farther down th...more
Kristopher Swinson
Nov 08, 2008 Kristopher Swinson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kristopher by: Bishop Potter
This was a decent read that had me laughing at times. Thanks to his very graceful acceptance of his condition, he tells the story in a way that doesn't draw attention to his disability in the expected sense. He continually places it in a reducible context...which is very odd, considering that most people probably purchase the book because they don't anticipate the normalcy that he seeks. He himself admitted, offhandedly, that blind people can be as shallow as anyone else about dating (142-143)!

T...more
Tif
Mike heard him speak at a conference a few weeks ago and was very impressed. So I went out the next day to get his book.

Totally inspiring! Makes me wonder if I ever really do anything really difficult in my life? I feel like I need to climb a mountain or run a marathon or something.

I hope he writes more about the climbs he did after this book. I want to read about Everest!
Jennifer
I read this book years ago after I met Erik and heard him speak. This is the story of his life - not only his climbing, but his experiences growing up that helped form him into the courageous and outstanding person he is. Everyone should read this.
Fabio
This guy is blind and has climbed every mountain on earth. I cant even fit in my pants. This book really helps you realize how lazy you are. which is why I burned it and ate some ice cream.
Becky
I'm reading this for work, and then I have to decide if we want to assign it as part of the disability-themed book assignment. If my supervisors want to use it, I then have to come up with essay/discussion questions. In some ways doing the assignment is easier than creating it!

I've seen two documentaries about Erik Weihenmayer and his mountain climbing, but it will be interesting to more of his background story.

I got really bored with the last third of the book in which he recounts, in more deta...more
Diane
When I finished this book, I felt recharged and renewed, because this book is not about blindness or limitations. Triumph, yes. Hard preparation, determination, pain, sacrifice and joy - yes. Erik's descriptions of his youth, his mother's focus on keeping him in the educational mainstream, his father's zeal for creating adventures and his own personal and physical progress make good reading. But the climbing sequences - gripping. I could feel the rock beneath my hands on the technical climb up E...more
James Christensen
Touch the top of the world : a blind man's journey to climb farther than the eye can see by Weihenmayer, Erik (bio/hist/adventure) 08 -
796.522 WEI

Written before he climbed Everest. Tells of his early life, loss of sight (detached retinas, then gloucoma), parental support and treatment as though anything was possible, the fight by his mother to even get him into public school, his athleticism, his desire to be normal, seemingly impossible excursions to Machu Pichu, Borneo??, Kilimonjaro, with fa...more
Judy
Fascinating book about a blind man who set himself the goal to summit the highest peaks on all the continents. I enjoyed the part about his adjustment to going blind, and admired his determination not to let it limit his life. I have to say he seems a bit crazy though! I can't imagine leaping across an ice crevasse sighted, much less blind! I think the CD must have been abridged, so the transitions between the climbing expeditions was a bit choppy, but overall, it was an exciting memoir.
Caroline
This is the incredible story of Erik Weihenmayer, a guy from my hometown who is the first and only blind person to reach the summit of all 7 continents' highest peaks. Erik went blind at the beginning of sophomore year of high school after battling glaucoma. I worked for his mother at their home, making necklaces in her "sweatshop labor" front room from beautiful asian beads and woods. Two weeks before Erik lost his sight completely, his parents began the process of getting divorced, his mother...more
Davis Graham
I met Erik at the HIMSS conference in Orlando and was inspired by his story and shared my story with the gift of dyslexia. We both use Bookshare.org to read our books. I read this book and recently bought it and added his signature that he wrote on my name tag. So I have a semi-signed book. Perseverance is a gift in life and Erik shares his perseverance with us in this awesome journey to the top of the world.
Dan
Listened to the audio book on a long drive. It was a welcome alternative to the few AM radio stations available. The book was well written and the reader was very good (Nick Sullivan).

I should add the author is highly competitive with Type-A personality sometimes pushing his abilities to the limit in extreme conditions. This seemed questionable to me at times, especially with a wife and baby at home, but that was his decision to make along with his wife. Not personally my approach to adventure,...more
Linda
While I agree that Erik W.is phenomenal in facing his life challenges, I cannot give so strong an endorsement of the book itself. I am not a book editor but if I were, I would have substantially edited & pared down the nearly 350 pp. Sometimes, I felt that the plodding through the chapters was somewhat intentional to set the tone for the slowness of the climb & reaching the end of a chapter was analogous to victory over the adversity of completing a climb.I also think an editor should ha...more
Nicolas
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wendy
As a climber and mountaineer, I loved his accounts in these endeavors. He beautifully illustrates many of the emotions and challenges I have faced including falling in love with climbing, struggling physically through hikes, overcoming fear, and questioning the ability to complete the goal at task. I was especially drawn to his account of climbing the Nose of El Cap as it is on my "to-do" list. Erik's journey and relationship with these activities proves that there are certain universals in life...more
Rebecca
I saw the author speak at a conference and was inspired by his story, as well as his humor and outlook. The book covers his early years when he lost his eyesight, as well as how he adapted. But the lure for me was learning how he manages rock and mountain climbing, from El Cap to Everest. Being autobiographical, it's plainly straightforward and technical at times with descriptions, but I felt more along for the ride than with many other books with climbing tales. Greatest takeaways include the r...more
Sarah
Unbelievable story about a blind man who hikes to the top of Mt. Everest.
Shaun
This was an amazing memoir of Erik Weihenmayer who is blind and is the first blind person to scale Mount Everest. He has also scaled El Capitan in Yosemite. I was totally in awe of how this man, who lost his vision in his early teens, makes the most of his life and doesn't let his blindness get in the way of accomplishing any goal he has. This is a truly inspiring story, which I recommend to others. He also has a nice sense of humor about his blindness and how he sees adversity in general. He us...more
Chelsea
I LOVED this book! It's truly inspiring that this man was able to climb the toughest mountains in the world, including Everest, and also just happens to be blind. It's so heart breaking that he didn't become blind until he was 13 years old too and had to basically relearn how to live and function. He described it as dying.

Anyways it's a really inspirational book about how people can push their own limits and live truly incredible lives. I highly recommend it!
Rachel Jones
Not a particularly spectacular read and this book does suffer from the "disadvantaged person does something astounding and we're all inspired" trope, but still, it's a good story and an easy read.

My favorite chapters were of Erik's childhood and teenage years, and I enjoyed his explanations of navigating high school while totally blind. My brother was severely physically handicapped and had a hard time at school, so these chapters really touched me.

Mendi
When I started this book, I expected it to mostly be about mountaineering itself and exactly how a blind man does it. While it is descriptive about this, most of the book (and the best parts) is about how he worked to accept his blindness, learned to adjust and how others treated him. I laughed out loud a lot. I found him very real and inspiring. This book is a new all-time favorite for me.
Jessica
I had the opportunity to see Erik speak at a conference, so I was really excited to read his story and learn more about his life.
The book definitely met my expectations....I cried (which I haven't done while reading before), I laughed out loud (many times) and was totally inspired. I'm hoping he writes another book soon on more of his accomplishments.
Judy
The story of Erik's accomplishments as an athlete - with the added challenge of going blind as a teenager - is very compelling. When I got to the narratives, of his climbs, the book became a page-turner. Lucky for me that I stayed with it, because the first part of the book (in which he tries to make his mother into a saint) was much less of a good read.
Anika
Very interesting and very inspiring. I'm not usually one for adventure books, but this was a good one. It was the closest I'll ever come to experiencing climbing a huge, icy mountain, and I definitely enjoyed imagining being up there with Erik Weihenmayer. Though I was grateful that I was actually on my comfy couch while imagining all that icy cold.
Sherry
Looking at the reviews already written, there isn't much more I can add. I loved this book. The narrator Nick Sullivan was excellent. I had heard Jeff Evans speak in November. The first time Sullivan read a Jeff conversation I could see and hear Jeff saying it himself. I laughed and I cried. I look forward to meeting Erik one day in Golden, Colorado.
Mason
Erik spoke at a company event about a year ago ... what a great speaker, and story.

This book was a great read. He has a self-depricating manor, and he isn't afraid to talk about some of his faults and fears. He uses a lot of technical language, but it's pretty easy to understand (I'm not a climber, at all, so many terms were new to me).
Jonathan Sanchez
561671 I decided to read this book after listening to a motivational speech by the author and personally meeting and talking to him.
I really enjoyed the first half of the book about his life and how he became who he is. It is very inspirational. I love how Erik doesn't let others put barriers in his life. He decides what is possible.
Cheryl
I think this is one of the most inspiring books. It is the one to read when you feel down about yourself or feel like your life is hard. Take some time to read about a guy who wasn't born blind but became so in his youth and chose to not let it beat him.
He has done so much that people with two good eyes will never do.
Stephanie Waaser


Insightful, honest, and funny, this book is a pleasant read and an amazing story as well as a look into the life of a blind man. The author relates his everyday experiences alongside his extraordinary ones, from his childhood to the writing of the book, making a unique memoir of blindness, mountains, and love.
Jodie
This book is my number one inspiration. I met Mr. Eric Weihenmayer at a convention in Anaheim, CA. He was the motivational speaker. I was a place in my life where I needed some real change and his book gave me the right inspiration to move forward with gusto! Truly a remarkable athlete and man... a must read, if you ask me!
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