August 13, 2014

Endurance Challenge

Tyler Walker and Laurie StevensAn exciting off-shoot of the press attention for the Endurance Challenge was the recognition of other wheelchair adventurers who have previously summited the tallest peak in the North East. Among them are New Englanders Erik Kondo, who made the climb in 11 hours in 1986 and Sean O’Neill, who trained seriously for the ascent and made the summit in just under 6 hours. They join the North Country’s own Cameron Shaw-Doran, who reached the summit in approximately 14 hours in 2005. About the history of reaching the summit, Olney says, “The 2014 summit teams tip their caps to these tremendous athletes, who remain an inspiration to anyone who refuses to let their disability become an obstacle to reaching their goals.   We have been delighted to have the history of wheelchair ascents of Mt. Washington break into the news. The group of Kondo, O’Neill and Shaw-Doran (now joined by Endurance Challenge athletes Tyler Walker and Laurie Stephens), are a very select club. We are looking for a unique and innovative way to honor these pioneers and to have them participate in a meaningful fashion in the 2015 Sunrise Ascent.” Olney urges any adaptive sportsperson who has successfully climbed Mt. Washington’s Auto Road to contact ASPNC to share their story and perhaps be a part of next year’s event. Sunrise Ascent donations are still being accepted. To donate or to contact ASPNC, go to www.adaptivesportspartners.org or email info@adaptivesportspartners.org.