Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Summit

the-summitThe Summit – Faith Beyond EVEREST’s Death Zone
Written by Eric Alexander
Published at New Leaf Publishing

About the book

I have read several accounts of Everest climbs, but none gave me the "behind the scenes" view this book provides... Whether you get exercise climbing mountains or strolling shopping malls, you'll find your heart racing as you read The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest's Death Zone. If not, you should call 911 immediately and get checked for a pulse.
— Philip Yancey

It’s one of the greatest challenges one can face on Earth; an ascent to the top of the world on the slopes of Mount Everest. Eric Alexander experienced grace and a faith-empowering journey he will never forget as part of a record-setting team in May 2001, scaling the heights of Everest with his friend, blind climber Erik Weinhenmayer.

• Experience some of the most dangerous locations in the world, including abject terror on Amadablam, a blind ski descent of Russia’s Mount Elbrus, and up Kilimanjaro in Africa with four blind teens
• Gain wisdom in the application of trust, courage, innovation, teamwork, leadership, and integrity to overcome your own Everests
• Discover practical faith lessons learned on the highest peaks of six continents

Here is the powerful story of Eric Alexander and his unique life journey of guiding people with disabilities to the most perilous places of the world, including Mount Everest’s first blind ascent. In The Summit: Faith Beyond Everest’s Death Zone you will follow in their historic footsteps, and learn about faith, trust, prayer, depending on God, as well as the perseverance needed during these climbs and in your own life. Be inspired and motivated by Eric’s insight, not simply to survive but to thrive every day in God’s grace.

Who is Eric Alexander?

Eric Alexander is a skier, climber, and mountaineer who has lived in the Vail Valley for 20 years.   He is married to Amy Alexander and has twin daughters, Karis and Aralyn.    Born in Indiana, Eric moved west with his family at the age of four to Evergreen, Colorado, where he gained his first experiences in the outdoors with his church youth group.   His mentors there, with world-class credentials, gave him a passion for the outdoors and for the Lord, which continues today.

With a BA degree in environmental science from the University of Denver, Eric was a member of the school’s Alpine Club, Ski Team, and was president of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on campus.   In Vail, Eric has worked for the Vail Ski Patrol (including one year in France), Ski School, Vail Mountaineering, and now his own business.    On May 25, 2001, Eric defied the odds and scaled Mt. Everest, guiding his blind friend Erik Weihenmayer to its 29, 035-foot summit.  He has continued to climb and lead others, particularly those with disabilities, on trips around the world.  Eric has climbed the highest point on six of the seven continents, which is a feat in and of itself.   However, what makes this accomplishment even more notable is that Eric has led a person with a disability to the summit each continent’s highest peak.

imageFrom these experience he has been able to build a business called Higher Summits, allowing him to share an inspirational message with people all over the world, opening the door to share his faith in Christ and the true meaning of purpose in life.

Eric continues to climb and lead expeditions throughout Europe, Africa, North and South Americas, the Himalayas, and other mountainous regions of the globe with disabled teens and adults.   He is always looking for new mountains to climb, both personally and in the outdoors, while challenging people to overcome the “Everest” in their own lives.

You can connect with Eric at:

My Thoughts

When I was younger, I experienced with rock climbing.   It’s fun and scary at the same time.   Climbing the wall of a rock with cords as your support can be exhilarating.    But to feel you have conquer your fear and see the landscape once you are at the top is breathtaking.

So when I heard about The Summit and discovered what was behind this book, I was dumbfounded.   Okay I admit that I never climbed a mountain in the size of Mount Everest.  But to learn that Eric Alexander has guided people with disabilities from blind to quadriplegic is inspiring.  Yes it’s crazy if you ask me but in the past we have seen and/or heard of disabled people who have gone above and beyond what others thought they could do and now seeing them skiing for example is normal.   So why not?   Why not allowing them to climb the hardest mountains when they are guided by an experienced mountain climber? 

Reading this book is like I am reading through the journal of someone.   The way it is written gives you the feeling that you are part of a trip.   You learn the ups and downs, the problems that arise, the doors opened to advance a project, the courage of the team while climbing and living in tents.   I tip my hat to these men (and women) who are brave enough to climb these risky mountains.    There are times I shivered just thinking what they go through.    Other times I have a smile on my face when I read high moments.   

I am enjoying this book and discover how faith is important when you are climbing treacherous mountains.    I am glad to have the perspective of a Christian in mountain climbing.  

Listen to what Erik Weihenmayer has to saw about his experience.

Eric Alexander, the author of The Summit, was featured was the guest of Ryan Dobson & Toben Heim on Grounded Talk Radio.  Here's a link to his interview.

Eric will be a guest on the 700 Club program on January 4th which will air at 9a & 10a CST.

The Summit is available at any bookstore, even at

Disclaimer: I was given the book from New Leaf Publishing Group/MasterBooks for review purpose. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the sponsor in any way.  All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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