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Author Topic: Blind Mountain Climber Completes Seven Summit Quest  (Read 6551 times)


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Erik Weihenmayer has walked Kosciuszko and therefore has finished the Kosciuszko verion of the 7summits.
The 7summit team congratulates Erik with this exceptional feat!
This is the official pressrelease:

Erik Weihenmayer Reaches Top Of Tallest Peak In Australia
Thursday September 5, 9:25 am ET

Press Release Source: Aventis Pharmaceuticals

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA--(INTERNET WIRE)--Sep 5, 2002 -- Today, blind mountain climber, Erik Weihenmayer, reached the summit of Mt. Kosciuszko (kos--key--u--sko) completing his Seven Summits quest with the support and sponsorship of AllegraŽ (fexofenadine HCl) 180 mg once daily and the National Federation of the Blind (NFB). Weihenmayer reached the top of Mt. Kosciuszko - the tallest peak in Australia -- a mountain standing at 7,316 ft. between Melbourne and Sydney in the Australian Alps. Weihenmayer joins an elite group of approximately 100 athletes, including 30 Americans, who have climbed the Seven Summits -- the tallest peaks on each of the seven continents. For more information about Weihenmayer and to follow the Allegra - NFB 2002 Seventh Summit Expedition, consumers can log on to www.SevenSummitsExpedition.com.

Overcoming Obstacles

Weihenmayer started climbing after losing his sight at the age of 13 to retinoscheses, an extremely rare eye disease. As a skydiver, skier, and all-around adventure sports enthusiast, he has climbed some of the most technical peaks in the world, dramatizing the limitless possibilities of all people.

"Visually, my team can easily differentiate each mountain," said Weihenmayer. "But my senses - the feel of the rock, the smell of the earth, the sound of the wind howling - are what make each mountain different and unique for me."

The environmental conditions, the terrain and weather on each of the highest peaks of the Seven Summits are often very drastic - going from warm alpine meadows, grass and trees to frigid, snow-capped peaks. Weihenmayer, like most people who participate in outdoor activities, is exposed to allergens in his climbing environments that could trigger his seasonal allergy symptoms. Weihenmayer's doctor prescribed non-drowsy Allegra, because he knew Erik was a seasonal allergy sufferer and couldn't be sneezing or drowsy from medication while climbing. Allegra has sponsored Weihenmayer's last three climbs to help support him as he completed his seventh summit quest.

"Erik Weihenmayer continues to overcome obstacles, large and small -- all the while re-igniting the human spirit with his accomplishments," said Sue Foelix, Director of Marketing for Allegra. "Allegra salutes Erik and the spirit of all those who don't let obstacles stand in the way of their dreams."

The Seven Summits: The Challenge of a Lifetime

Seven years ago at the age of 26, Erik Weihenmayer embarked on a quest that would take amazing skill, determination, and faith. In 1995, beginning with Denali/ Mt. McKinley in North America (20,320 ft.), Weihenmayer set out to make history by climbing the highest peak on each of the seven land continents. Then, in 1997, he successfully climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa (19,339 ft.) and South America's Mt. Aconcagua (22,840 ft.) in 1999. In 2001, Weihenmayer reached the summit of both Mt. Vinson Massif (16,067 ft.) in Antarctica and Mt. Everest (29,029 ft.) in Asia. This year, Weihenmayer reached the summit of Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft.) in Europe and has now completed his seven-year journey by reaching the top of Mt. Kosciuszko in 2002.

It is estimated that during the last seven years Weihenmayer has spent more than 1,000 hours per year training and preparing for each mountain he faced. From climbing stairs with a 100-pound pack strapped to his back to daily stints on the treadmill, the physical training required to climb large rock faces and ice mountains is strenuous.

"Reaching the summit of Kosciuszko is an accomplishment unlike any other I've experienced," said Weihenmayer. "In climbing the Seven Summits, I hope to show people that what may seem unattainable is really within reach."

About Mt. Kosciuszko

Mt. Kosciuszko is located in the largest park in New South Wales, encompassing an area of some 6,500 square kilometers. The park has more than 200 caves and the most extensive examples of glaciated upland landscapes and subalpine flora in mainland Australia. This area has rocky terrain, is heavily forested, and receives heavy precipitation (both rain and snow) during the Australian winter. Kosciuszko has also become a popular resort for both hiking and skiing. Also some of the country's most interesting and beautiful bushwalking tracks pass through the area surrounding Kosciuszko.

About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind is a consumer-based organization of more than 50,000 blind people throughout the United States. Its primary purpose is to change what it means to be blind by changing people's attitudes about blindness.

About Allegra

Aventis, the maker of AllegraŽ (fexofenadine HCl) 180 mg tablets, supports Weihenmayer because he is a seasonal allergy sufferer who inspires others not to let obstacles stand in the way of their goals. Allegra (fexofenadine HCl) 180 mg once daily is a powerful, safe and effective non-sedating antihistamine for the treatment of seasonal allergy symptoms in patients 12 years and older. Side effects with Allegra 180 mg once daily are low and may include headache, cold or back pain. Allegra is available by prescription only, and seasonal allergy sufferers should consult their physician or healthcare professional with questions. For additional product information log on to www.Allegra.com.

About Aventis

Aventis (NYSE:AVE - News) is dedicated to improving life by treating and preventing human disease through the discovery and development of innovative pharmaceutical products. Aventis focuses on prescription drugs for important therapeutic areas such as oncology, cardiology, diabetes, and respiratory disorders respiratory/allergy, anti-infectives as well as on human vaccines. In 2001, Aventis generated sales of EUR 17.7 billion ($15.9 billion), invested approx. EUR 3 billion ($2.7 billion) in research and development and employed approximately 75,000 people in its core business. Aventis corporate headquarters is in Strasbourg, France. The company's prescription drugs business is conducted in the U.S. by Aventis Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is headquartered in Bridgewater, New Jersey. For more information, please visit: www.aventis.com.

Statements in this news release other than historical information are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially depending on factors such as the availability of resources, the timing and effects of regulatory actions, the strength of competition, the outcome of litigation, and the effectiveness of patent protection. Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties is set forth in the current Annual Report on Form 20-F of Aventis on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

"He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary." -- Friedrich Nietzsche
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