Touch the Top of the World (2006) - full transcript

The story of the first blind man ever to reach the top of Mount Everest.


MAN: Mount Everest.

The highest point
on Earth, 29,035 feet.

The Tibetans call
it Chomolungma:

"the Mother Goddess."

For a sighted person,
climbing Mount Everest

is one of the greatest
physical challenges

on the face of the Earth.

For the blind,

it's been deemed
virtually impossible.

This is the story
of a group of guys

who set off to
conquer the mountain.

They're my friends,
but I call them heroes

because they risked their
lives to include me, a blind man.

Heat's coming on.
Knees up, ladies.

Oh, man, it looks like

Superman's Winter
Palace in here.

JEFF: Your turn, Big E.

All right, easy 20-foot
climb here. ERIK: Okay.

Step forward a bit. Okay. Yeah.

Here we go.

Your turn, Super Blind.

JEFF: All right, buddy.

Bit of an overhang. Yeah.

Other than that,
it's pretty simple.


Climbing. JEFF: Climbing.

CHRIS: Good job.


We're on a narrow
snow bridge here, Erik.

Stay to your left.

Jeez... JEFF: Pull him back.

Jeff, get him. JEFF:
I'm on it, I'm on it.

Erik, give me your hand.

I got you, Jeff.

Get him. Reach up, Erik.

I can't feel it. Right here.

A little to your right.

CHRIS: We got you, Erik.

JEFF: Come on. CHRIS:
Hang in there, dude.

You can do it. I got it.

Yeah? You got it.
You got it, buddy.

Come on, hold on.
I'm pulling you up.

Okay. Here we go.

Here we go.


That first step's
a doozy, isn't it?

Are you all right,
dude? [PANTING] Yeah.

Yeah, wonderful.

Good job.


We got you. Okay.


All right, buddy.
Straight on, five steps.

ERIK: I started
my path up Everest

16 years ago,

when I first went blind.

It feels like I've dreamed
and trained for this

my entire life.

Now it's all going
to be put to the test

on the world's tallest peak.

But even if I do
everything right,

only one in six who try
actually summit Everest

and make it back
down again alive.


PV: This place is a
shifting river of ice.

The quicker we get through it,

the less chance a sérac of ice
breaks off and kills someone.

All right, Big E, you're up.

CHRIS: Step forward. Yeah,
okay, that's the second ladder.

You're locked in, yeah. Okay.

Shift your weight. Okay.

This ladder's high up,
but at least it's rickety.

It's called positive
pessimism. Erik understands.

ERIK: Yeah.

I can't feel my legs, but
at least they're shaking.


There you go.

How far down is it?

What do you care?

I think it's scarier
falling into the unknown.

More scary than falling
into something you can see.


Uh, I think I can see
through to Texas.


PV: We've practiced
this a thousand times.

CHRIS: Just back a little
bit on the inside. Inside.

Erik, easy. Inside.

Erik, keep your
weight over your feet.

Steady. That's it, Erik.

You're locked in.

That's it, you're locked.
Keep your ankles steady.

Yes. PV: That's it, Erik.

CHRIS: All right. Don't
lunge forward, though.

We were... We were
never this high up before.

Yeah, well, guess
what? You are now.

CHRIS: Back a bit. Good. Lock.

Keep your ankles steady.

How much further?

You got six more
steps. That's one.

Try to keep your ankles steady.

No, no, easy, easy.
Inside. PV: Whoa, whoa.

CHRIS: Erik, more
towards your left.

Back a bit and you're locked.

Good. Next step.


That's it, Erik.

That's good.

Okay, stop.

Okay, listen, Erik. Yeah.

The next step you
take is one foot up.

That's home base. Am I locked?

CHRIS: Yes, you're in.


You can breathe now. Yeah.

Good job.

Only 29 more of
those ladders to go.


Right here. Yeah.

This is your tent. Okay.

MAN 1: Need a shovel
over here. MAN 2: Over here.


MAN 2: Hey, you got the radio?

You got it? Yeah.

All right, I'll be the
one that says it.

Did we just make a serious
mistake bringing Erik up here?

He'll rally.

He always does.

CHRIS: Oh, yeah,
and if he doesn't,

all our chances at the
summit go with him.


I'll talk to him.
I'll talk to him.

MAN 2: Hey, you got the radio?

MAN 1: It wouldn't
work out here.




You won't summit if you
can't pick up the pace, Erik.

Do you understand?

Maybe you guys should
just go on without me.

There's an old Tibetan saying:

The nature of
mind is like water.

If you do not disturb
it, it will become clear.

Am I supposed to snatch a pebble
from your hand now or something?



No, it just means that
maybe the best way

to approach such a
monster of a mountain

is to break it down into
more manageable chunks.

Clear your mind of expectation

and experience the climb just
moment by moment, step by step.

And... And however high
you get on this mountain,

that's your summit, dude,
and you celebrate that.

MAN: Keep your
eyes still, please.

Okay. Thank you, Erik.

You were great.


Will you go wait
in the lobby for me?


Is it that bad?

Erik has retinoschisis, an
extremely rare eye disease.

His retinas are already detached
from the center of his pupils,

so he can't see straight ahead.

Now, he has some
peripheral vision.

But the pressure will eventually
cause both retinas to split.

How long, um, until...?

Will he be able to see?

It's not very predictable.

Well, what's your best guess?

DOCTOR: I'm sorry.

Erik will be blind
by his early teens.



"Yet his heart wanted to fight.

"To fight the...

"To fight the
whole world, but...

"But these...

"But these two small hands were

all he had to do it with."

Thank you, Erik.

You wait outside, honey.

We're not gonna put
him in a special school.

Besides his limitations,
there are liability issues.

Uh, we've never had
a blind student before.

Well, he's not
totally blind yet.

Uh, I was working in
Hong Kong for a firm

for the past four years
and Erik had private tutors,

but now that we're back,

we were hoping to enroll
him in a public school.

A school for the blind has
so many techniques to offer.

No, my baby reads.

Okay, he holds the book
right up against his face,

but he still sees it.

He's smart. He swims.
He dribbles a basketball.

He plays football
with his brothers.

And he's not gonna sit and
wait for the dinner bell to ring.

He's going to a normal
school with normal children.

DAD: As you can see, we just
want him to have a normal life.


Hey, come on.

Let's go, little brother.
We trust you. Come on.

BOY 1: Yeah. BOY 2: Come on.

DAD: What are you doing?

BOY 2: Come on. DAD:
Your mother will kill me.


BOY 2: Come on. Oh, God.

DAD: You can do it.

Just stay straight.
Stay traight ahead.

Whose idea was this?

DAD: There, good start.

Stay just like that.

I'm not watching.




I told you, guys. I told you.

I told you, guys. Oh-ho!


Mom? Dad?



What's wrong, baby?

What is it? What's wrong?

What's wrong?

Come on, tell me.

I always thought the
doctors were wrong.

I can beat this. Beat what?


I can't see anything.

I can't see anything.

It's gonna be okay.
It's gonna be...

It's not gonna be okay, Mom.

It's not.

I can't do sports.

I'm not gonna have any friends.

Forget girlfriends.

I hate this.

I hate everything.


It's stupid. It's
over. No, Erik.

Your life is not stupid.

I know you better than
I know my own heart.

And I see so much for you.

It's more than...

More than you and I
could ever even imagine.

You're just gonna have
the most extraordinary life.


It's gonna be extraordinary.

Come here. It's okay.

It's okay, baby.

It's okay.




How you doing, buddy?

Oh, dude.

Looks like you went 10 rounds

with George
Foreman there, buddy.

Here, clean your face up.

It took me 13 hours to
cross the Khumbu Ice Falls.

We were supposed
to do it in six.

It's chaotic.
There's no patterns.

I can't take a step
without feeling like

it's gonna drop into space.

I mean, this is just
the beginning. I...

I don't know.

Man, those are natural
fears that every climber has.

It was the same
thing when we climbed

Mount McKinley and Annapurna.

It's about ambition and fear.

The ambition is the
overwhelming desire

to get you to the top.

But the fear will
keep you alive.


MAN: Bring that over here.

♪ It's a beautiful morning ♪

♪ The sun is shining down ♪

♪ And we are going climbing ♪

We better get going
just so he stops singing.


This is all about getting
you to the summit, dude.

Well, we're all here for you.


I know you're scared, Big E.

And this sounds stupid,
but just don't think about it.

I swear, it works.



Still water. My
mind is still water.


[LAUGHING] All right.

All right, Big E,
now you're moving.

Great, E.

CHRIS: Whoo!

Have you been practicing
when we're not looking?


I've been practicing
when I'm not looking.

[LAUGHING] Keep it coming, man.

Still water.

That's it. JEFF: That's
the second ladder.

Up a bit.


All right.


Almost there, E. Whoo-hoo!

Eight hours, 30
minutes. All right, man.

Yapodora, man, yapodora.

What's that mean, Ang?

Yapodora means
you're badass. [LAUGHS]

It's a good way to do it. I
got to eat a little more too.

Excuse me, Bob. Uh, Erik's here.

Um, Erik, this is,
uh, Bob Allman.

Bob, my son, Erik.

Nice to meet you. Hi, Erik.

Bob's a lawyer. He
was a wrestler at Penn.

He won the NCAA
championship in his weight class.

Blind since birth. Cool.

DAD: Come on,
you guys, sit down.

Uh, Erik, we thought
this'd be good to talk about,

because it's one sport
where it's a level playing field.

You really don't need to be
sighted to be a good wrestler.

What if I, you know,
get my butt kicked

or get my nose
broken or something?

Well, at least you don't have to

look at it in the mirror, right?


ERIK: That's true.

I don't, ahem, really find
anything funny about that.

Well, we talked
about this, Ellen.

I know, but I don't
think it's a good idea.

Ellen, we have a choice.
We can support Erik's life,

or we can be opposed to
everything he wants to do.

Now, I say we be his partners.

I know, I really... I want
him to do things too,

I really do. I just...

I don't want anyone to hurt him.

DAD: Well, it's a chance
we're gonna have to take.

DAD: Come on, Erik!


Come on, get up.
COACH: Get him off.

DAD: Get out of there!

COACH: Move him around. Come on!

Let's go, Erik.
Let's go, let's go.

Get up! COACH: Keep working.

Keep working. DAD: Work it!

Come on, Erik! Get out of it.

DAD: Pick it up! Go, go!


That's it! Ha-ha!



DAD: Keep him down, come on!




Erik, Erik, Erik,

Erik, Erik, Erik... DAD: Winner!

Erik, Erik, Erik,

Erik, Erik, Erik,

Erik, Erik, Erik...

That's my boy.

Erik, Erik, Erik...

BOY 1: Go, Big E!
BOY 2: All right, buddy!


We're gonna put some ice on it.

Did the other guy
look as bad as I do?


He looked much worse...
[GASPS] Jeez, it's cold.

Oh, Erik, stop being a baby.

I'm gonna put it on.

It's okay? Yeah.

Why do you always
wear this bird thing?

Oh, I got that when
we lived in Hong Kong.

I was really happy there.

And you're not happy here?

No, of course I am.

It's just in a different way.

I haven't seen my
face in four years.

I don't even know
what I look like anymore.

Well, you are getting
more handsome every day.

Yeah, right.

My forehead's all sticking
out like a Neanderthal

and my nose is huge.

Well, now, that
is quite an insult,

because out of all my children,

you are the one that
looks the most like me.

Give me your hand.

I want you to feel my face.

Now feel your face.

Do you see how similar they are?


You got a nose like mine.


And the same... Our
eyes are the same too.


So if you're ugly, I guess
that makes me ugly too, huh?

Everybody knows
you're beautiful, Mom.

And you're a real looker, Erik.

You're gonna
break a lot of hearts.



CHRIS: Four feet across.

To your left.

Okay hold up, E.

Okay. What do we got?

It looks like the ladder
gave way. Big crevasse.

We're gonna have
to jump it. [EXHALES]

Okay. All right.

This ain't no place to
be screwing the pooch.

You have to stand
on the edge of the ice.

Get a solid stance.

Easy. Okay.

Do not slip. Okay.

You hear this?


You slip, you die.

Great, all right.

Okay, you got it?




All right.

Okay, your turn.

How far is it?

What are you doing? You
can't reach the other side.

You have to jump.

I'm just getting ready.

Give me your poles.


I wish there was
a freaking ladder.

Well, you know what?

You can wish in one
hand and crap in the other

and see which
one fills up first.

If you ever quit climbing, you
should become a philosopher.

Stop procrastinating. Make
it a good jump or you will die.

Why do you keep repeating that?




Good jump, Big
E, you didn't die.

Hey. Thanks for giving
me a ride home, coach.

No problem, you
were great today.


I don't know where
my parents are.

They usually come to every game.

Hello, son. Dad?

Why didn't you and
Mom come to the game?

I was waiting for you.

[WHIMPERING] I'm sorry, I, uh...

I wish we could have. Dad?


Erik, there's no other
way to tell you this.

Your mother was in
a terrible car accident.



Are you sure you
wanna do this, Erik?

Okay, it's about, uh, 15
feet straight ahead of you.









Oh, man, the
lightning is just...

Shh-shh-shh. I know.

It's right beneath us,
lighting up the clouds.

They look like big, white,
puffy blankets of snow.

Man, that's just creepy.

Did you know that there
is a way to hear objects?

Sound vibrations are
constantly bouncing off objects

and then moving back to us.

It's called
echolocation, or sonar.

Bats have it, whales
have it and so do humans.

Most humans aren't aware
that they have the capacity.

Uh, who's this? Uh, Erik.

Erik, you're up. Come this way.

Uh, could you give
me your cane, please?

Thank you. This is so stupid.

Good luck. Thanks.

Away you go. Straight?

I think so. Yeah, thanks a lot.


That's so cool. MAN: Ah.

With practice, echolocation
can become a precise new way

of seeing the world.

Now, this is a friction climb.
It's pitched about 60 degrees.

All right? Cool.

Get to the rock.

BOY 1: Go, Erik.

GIRL 1: Come on, Erik.

BOY 2: Erik, yeah. ALL: Yeah.


BOY 3: Move. BOY
4: Use the Force.

BOY 5: Go for it.

GIRL 2: Get up. BOY
6: Use your spider sense.

Use your spidey sense.
GIRL 2: Good luck.

BOY 7: Go, go, go.

BOY 8: Monkey boy,
you did it. [ALL CHEER]

BOY 9: All right, Erik.

was the first pitch.

Now it gets steeper.

Friction won't hold
you to the rock.



Move to your right, Erik.

Feel for it. Good.

There's a big knob
above your left hand.

Reach higher.



I can't find it.

is about self-reliance.

It's about moving upward
under your own power.

To be independent, to find
your own way up that rock.


Okay, Dad? Yeah.

Let's go belay. All
right, I'm climbing.

Traverse over
to your left a bit,

there's some nice holes there.

Don't look down, I don't.

So you do this
for fun, huh? Yeah.

You have your eyes
closed or are you cheating?




You okay? Yeah.

Here we are. Yeah, we made it.


You're gonna be a
great teacher, son.


Phoenix is a long
way from Connecticut,

but I'm happy for you.

You know what's funny?

I always hated
school. Now it's my job.


You know, you're the first
blind person they've ever hired.

Your mother would be very
proud. You should be too.

Yeah, well, student
teaching is one thing.

Now I gotta it
do for real, right?

Well, I'd take a class
from you any day, Erik.

All right, I got the blind guy.

Doggy, doggy, doggy.

Are you ready?

Forward, Wizard, forward.
Thank you, thank you.

Good morning. Forward, Wizard.


Hey, welcome, everybody.

I have a seating
chart over here.

I want you to find your name
and sit in your assigned seats.

Okay, if you need help, I
have a chart that I can read,

and I'll help you out.

My name's Mr. Weihenmayer

and I'll be your
teacher this year.

I can't see over
big Tiffany's head.

Can I sit by Jake?
He's my best friend.

Uh, I'd rather you'd sit in
your assigned seat, Brian.

My name's David.


Okay, everybody in their
seats? How's it...? How's it going?

STUDENTS: Good. ERIK: Great.

He can't see your
hand, stupid. He's blind.

Okay, I won't call on you
if you've your hand raised,

but, um, how about if
you have a question,

you say your name
and I'll call on you?


Tiffany, Tiffany, Tiffany.

Tiffany, you have a question?

Can we play with your dog?

Uh, no.

Uh, Wizard's a... That's
Wizard, everybody.

Wizard's my guide dog.

He's at work right
now, just like me.

And, uh, when his harness is on,

he's a mature,
responsible working dog.

His job is to take me
from place to place.

But when his
harness is off, he's a...

He goes into supreme dog mode.


I was... I was kidding.

MAN: Hey, man.


Uh, how...? How'd it go today?

Uh, well, on a scale of
one to 10, it was, um...

It sucked.


Yeah. Yeah, thanks for
asking, whoever you are.

Oh, uh, Sam. Sam Bridges.

Sam, Sam Bridges.

Uh, um, everybody
knows who you are.

Sam Bridges. I... You know,
I read your file. You climb.

Uh, yeah, yeah,
rock climbing, mostly.

Me too. We... We should
go one day together.

Uh, y-yeah, sure.

Okay, yeah, there's a... A
climbing gym here in town.

Great, that'd be great. Cool.

Uh, hey, man, don't
worry about today.

You know, first
day, always a bear.


You're gonna like it
here. Thanks. Thanks.

See you.

I got ADD, right? Yeah.

And, uh, when I was in school,

I couldn't tune anything out.

Man, I couldn't focus.

I had this one
teacher who told me

that I should take
up rock climbing.

That it would help
me to concentrate.

And he was dead-on, man.

Hundred feet up, dangling
from a crimper by my fingertips.

First time in my life I
was able to concentrate.

Yeah, I know what you mean.

You know, rocks bring
out the best in people, dude.

Yeah, some of my
best friends are rocks.


Hey. Hey, what do I have here?


left hand up 2 feet
and, uh, over a foot.

Okay. Okay.

Oh, shit.

Sorry, dude. I meant right hand.

But you're good, man. We
should do something bigger.




So who are the
good-looking teachers?

Koopman's okay. Yeah?

Mm, Drewry... hm, nah.

Nice shot, dude. What
are you, Super Blind?

Dalton is hot.

She has always got
these little miniskirts on.

Oh, miniskirts, I love those.


Hey, you know
what does it for me?


A woman's voice.

Oh, nice. No.

No, really, like, some
women have that sexy purr.

I know. You know?

That's always a
definite turn-on to me.

And then others have that
high-pitched chirpy kind, dude.

Not at all. Does nothing.

And there's always the highly
articulate, fast-talking ones

which can be
interesting if they're cute.

A fellow horndog.



I am just as superficial
as the next guy.

WOMAN: Loser.


Hey. Come here.

Is Ellie Reeve good-looking?

I'm gonna leave that
a little mystery for you.

Thanks. Why don't
you ask her out?

What am I supposed to do?

Walk up to her
door and knock on it

and ask to borrow erasers?


You know, that's a good idea.

Can I help you, Mr. Weihenmayer?

Yes. I... I was wondering if
you had any spare erasers.

I, um... I can't
seem to locate mine.

I'm sorry. I'm all out.

Great. Thanks. Um,

but if you like, you're
welcome to pull up a chair

and listen to the
rest of the story.

Yeah, I'd like that. Thank you.



"If someone loves a
flower of which one blossom

"grows throughout the
galaxy on just one single star,

"it makes her happy
just to look at the star.

"She can say to herself

"that whenever she
sees that star twinkle,

"her flower is there,
her flower is safe.

"Because if the
flower wasn't there,

"that star would be darkened

"and all the other stars
would cease to twinkle

in their sadness."

Ew, dude, your car's filthy.

Yeah, well, clean
trucks are for sissies.

Dude, I got something
for you. Yeah, what's that?

Lucky trekking poles.


Well, they say four
legs are better than two.

This is sweet.

It's gonna be like driving
a Ferrari up the mountain.


Dude, you look like a
melted crayon box, huh?

Color coordination
isn't exactly my thing.

Hey. Hey.

Mountains are more
important to Jeff

than, uh, girlfriends,
uh, a home, a job.

If I didn't have a girlfriend,
I wouldn't have to do this.



Ah, Chris Morris.

This dude's real address

is the third dirt
road on the right...


First log house on the
left, Wasilla, Alaska.

I kid you not.

Oh, that's cool.
What's up, buddy?

Hey. Hey, dude.

How's it going, brother? Good.

How are you? Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you.

Hey, listen. Uh, I just
wanna say right off the bat,

uh, I don't wanna be
treated any differently

than any other
person on this team.

We wouldn't dream
of it. That's cool.

How's that for starters?

What are you ladies
standing around for? Gear up.


I think I spoke too soon.

Hey, Erik, have
a great Christmas.

Hey, thanks. You too, Tom.

Forward, Wizard.
ELLIE: Mr. Weihenmayer.

Hello, Miss Reeve. Hi.

I wouldn't want you
to leave without this.

What...? What is
it? Well, it's a card.


Well, can you read
it for me, please?

Oh, no, you read it.

Do you want me to open
it? No, no, I... I can do it.

Thank you.

MAN: Happy holidays.


It's in Braille.

Uh, "Merry Christmas.

It's been really nice
getting to now you."

No, no, not "now." "Know."

Know. Gosh.

Realize that I dictated to
an 80-year-old blind man.

That's why it's... It's,
you know, kind of bland.


That's, uh... That's
really cool. Thank you.

You're welcome.
Thank you very much.


Well, um, Merry Christmas.

Yes, uh, Merry
Christmas to you too.

Come here, Wizard.
Come here, boy.


Thank you very much.

Mm-hm. Mm-hm.

Forward, Wizard.

Hey... Hey, Miss Reeve?



when I get back,

would you like to
go out sometime?



Okay, great. That...
That'd be great.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Right, Wizard.

Thank you. Do I have
any food on my face?

No. That happens sometimes.


Nothing in your
teeth either. Oh, good.

Good. Ahem.

So, um... So there was
this... This king, once...

Once upon a time.

I was gonna start a story
with "Once upon a time."

Once upon a time
there was a king,

and he had this daughter
that he wanted to marry off.

She was beautiful, by the way.

And he didn't want any
just, uh, Tom, Dick or Harry

as a son-in-law, all right?

So he devised a test.

A maze, if you will.

Whichever eligible bachelor

could work his way
through the maze

would win his daughter's
hand in marriage.

So months pass and none of
these guys could do it, right?

And the... The princess,
she's getting really depressed.

Her... Her therapy
bills are skyrocketing.

She has, you know, her
fairy godmother on speed dial,

"Am I ever gonna
find my true love?"


So one day,

this handsome young blind
man walks up to the castle.

Handsome? Very.

Well, dashing, for sure.

Nobody thought he could do it.
Everybody laughed at this guy.

So he enters the maze.

And every time his path
was blocked, he would pause

and wait for a breeze.


For this dashing blind dude knew
that wherever there was a breeze

there must be a passageway.
Pretty smart, huh?


So he followed the breeze

all the way through the maze,

out of the maze

and into the heart of
the fair young maiden.

And they were married
and lived happily ever after.

Wait, you've heard this
story? Actually, I saw the movie.


I'm sorry, I...

No. No, Ellie.

You don't ever
have to apologize.

You don't ever have to be
self-conscious around me.

Nothing you say
can be wrong, okay?

Don't ever think you can tell

a better blind joke
than I can, deal?

Deal. All right.


"I saw the movie." That
was a good one. [LAUGHS]

What do you miss most
now that you're blind?


Nothing, really.
It's been a while.

Come on. There must be
something that you miss.

I miss...

I miss faces.


I miss seeing
people's expressions

go from sad to happy,

from anger to laughter.

I miss that.

Do you wonder what I look like?

Is this a test?


Uh, no.

Yeah, you know, of
course... Of course I do.

You can feel my face.

Uh, Ellie, blind people
only do that in the movies.


But since you asked,

I would love to feel your face.

If the offer still stands now.




I wish you could see me.

I just did.

CROWD: Happy New Year.


Happy New Year. Happy New Year.

Left, Wizard, left.


Hi. Hi.

These are for you.


You're a mess. Yeah.

There's a small tornado
outside of your house, apparently.

Wow, you went through
all this trouble for me.

Oh, no, no, it's
no big deal, really.

Uh, Wizard picked them out.

That's sweet. Thank you.

You're welcome.

Come here. Thanks.



You okay? You got it?

Yeah, can I get a hand? Yeah.


Good job.

Hey, you wanna
lead the last pitch?

I've never lead before.

You can do it.

Okay. Yeah?

Yeah. All right.

♪ Where are you going? ♪

You all right?

♪ Where do you go? ♪

♪ Are you lookin' for
answers To questions...? ♪

Go for it. Okay.

♪ Where do you go? ♪

You're doing fine.

♪ Where are you going? ♪

Look for a good hold, okay?

[CRIES OUT] You okay?


♪ ...No Superman ♪

ERIK: Take your time.

♪ No answers for you ♪

♪ I am no hero... ♪


Oh, my gosh, it's beautiful.


♪ Is where you are
Is where I belong ♪




God, it's nice up here.



Hey, Ellie?


Oh, God, this is, uh...

Climbing McKinley
was easier than this.

I, uh... I've been getting
a lot of offers, you know,

for lecturing and other
climbing expeditions.

And, uh,

I... I think I can make
a... A good living out of it.

But in order to take
full advantage of it,

I... I... I need to
be in Colorado.

And, uh, I wanna move there.

And I... I want you
to move with me.

Erik, you know my
feelings on that subject. I...

No, I know, I know, I know.
I won't move anywhere...

Listen, Ellie.

You are the most
important aspect of my life.

More important to
me than any mountain.

And, uh, well, I... I
want you to be my wife.

Will you marry me?

God, I... I wish I could
see your face right now

so I could see what it's saying.

It's saying yes.

Let me put it on you. Okay.


Oh, it's this hand.

Right. Okay.



It's beautiful.

You're beautiful.
It's so beautiful.


ERIK: Dear Ellie.

Over the past six weeks,

we've climbed
through the ice fall.

And each time I do
it faster and faster.

It took me 13
hours the first time,

but now I'm down
to six. Big relief.

You can't imagine
what it's like up here.

Tomorrow we're climbing
through the Western Cym

which will get us to Camp 3.

PV says that if
you make it there

you stand a fighting
chance of summiting.

Thank God for PV.

I keep thinking how
much our lives changed

the day we met him.

I miss you. Kiss
our little girl.

I'll be home soon. Erik.

ERIK: Look at these shoes.

Little crampons for Emma.

ELLIE: Oh, yeah?

What's in here? Bath mats.

Wait. Hold on a second.

Look, Kim, there's
Erik Weihenmayer.

Erik Weihenmayer.

Yeah? PV: Hi.

Uh, I'm Pasquale Scaturro.
Everyone just calls me PV.

Yeah. Yeah. It's,
uh, good to meet you.

This is my wife, Kim.

Hi. Nice to meet you, Kim.

This is my wife, Ellie.
That's my girl, Emma.

Hi. Hi. Nice to meet you.

Hi. Nice to meet both of you.

So I've heard a lot about
you, Erik. What's going on?

Uh, not much.

Just, you know, looking for
sponsors, freebies, the usual.

Yeash. So where's
your next climb?

I don't know. I've
done, uh, Kilimanjaro,

Aconcagua, Mount McKinley.


have you ever considered
climbing Everest?

Yeah. I mean, you
know, I thought about it.

Considered it.

Dreamt about it, but...
PV: Dude, you wanna?

I'm serious. I love climbing,
organizing expeditions.

I'm... I'm not a guide, I'm...
I'm a geophysicist but...

I just led the first
whitewater expedition

on the Tekezé River.
I've been up Everest twice.

That's awesome.

Uh, look.

Here's my card. Uh...

Thanks. You...

Just think about it, okay? Yeah.

Yeah, that's great. Okay.

Nice to meet you. Yeah, you too.

ERIK: Hey, you too,
Kim. Nice to meet you.

See you.

Ready? Yeah.

Look, Ellie.

I know you don't
wanna hear this.


I'm thinking about
climbing Mount Everest.

Here we go again. [SCOFFS]

It's not that I think you
won't use good judgment

or Everest is out of
your league. Then what?

Look, I'm not saying
that I don't want you to go.

I know you've
already planned it out.

No, no, I haven't.

I never even spoke the
words out loud before.

Remember when I
turned back on Kilimanjaro

700 feet from the summit?

And I cried all the way
home on the airplane?

Yeah. Yeah, you cried for days.


Because I fell short.

If it gets hard, I can
turn back gracefully.

Are you sure?

This is a chance for
me to be a pioneer.

To do something that no blind
person has ever done before.

I want an extraordinary life.


I'm anything but ordinary.

But if you fail,

it might send the wrong message.

Like, a blind person
shouldn't have been there.

Oh, come on. Is that who we
are? People who don't take risks?

How long?

Three months.

Look, I know it's a long time.

I know it's a long time to be
away from you and Emma.

But PV...

He's... He's gonna put
together a great team.




I said to you that no mountain
is more important than you

and I meant that.

So if you don't want
me to go, I won't.

What kind of example
would I be setting for Emma

if I don't let you go?

That I stop people from
chasing their dreams.

Does that mean
you'll support me?


Of course.

Every inch. Every
little inch of the way.

This is... This is
who you are, right?

I mean, and this is who
I want Emma to be too.


I love you. Hm.

PV: We'll be six to 10 weeks

on the mountain before
attempting to summit.

Now, the goal is to get
up and down several times

to make sure that
we're acclimatized.

Okay, just give me
your hand. Yeah.

We're gonna start at base camp.

Okay. We'll make a trip through

the Khumbu Ice Falls

to Camp 1... ERIK: Uh-huh.

And back. We rest.

Then it's back up to Camp 1.

That's when we begin our
acclimatization program.

From there, we'll go through
the Western Cym up to Camp 2.

And rest.

Then it's on to Camp 3, way
up here on the Lhotse Face.

Right there. ERIK:
Uh-huh, that's far.

And then all the way back
down to base camp again.


Now, once we're back there,

we'll rest for a whole week

before heading back one last
time all the way up to Camp 4

for our summit attempt.

ERIK: Great.

Should be a cakewalk.


Uh, dude, that's just
a... A model, man.

The real mountain's
a little bigger.


Listen. Listen, that's
the trick of Everest.

Now technically, it's not
as difficult as McKinley

or any of the other mountains
you guys have climbed.

But the altitude will kill you.

Okay, now, you're all
accomplished climbers.

Hell, Erik and his boys

have climbed three of the
seven summits and El Capitan.

But this is the big daddy.

And Erik's daddy, Ed,

has some great
news for all of us. Ed?


Thanks, PV.

Well, um,

it looks like I've convinced

the National
Federation of the Blind

to commit $250,000
to fund the expedition.


Now, bear in mind, that's blind
people all across the country

doing bake sales and car
washes to raise this money.

So let's make them proud.

If Erik can get to the summit,

it won't change
people's perceptions

of what a blind man can do.

It will shatter them. Huh?


ED: They'll love that.

What's up, Hoss?

CHRIS: How you doing, Hogg?

So how you feeling, bro?

Still a little
shocked, actually.

Oh, you want a hug.
That's... That's sweet.


Where's Sam?

He's moping on the couch.

Yeah, got the dark
clouds rolling in.

Hey, dude.



Dude. Dude.

Can you believe we're
actually gonna climb this beast?

The, um, Federation
wants to have some kind of...


Uh, there's no easy
way to tell you this.

I'm not gonna come.

What? You're kidding, right?

No, I'm not.

I... I've been thinking
a lot about this and...

Sam, you're... You're
the one who got me

into the whole
climbing obsession.

I mean, you're gonna
bail right before we climb

the biggest mountain
in the world?

I got a family now.

I just don't wanna be away
from them for that long.

I got a family too.

I know, but you
have to do this, Erik.

I don't.


Look, I don't know if I can do
this without you, Sam. I mean...

You've been on every
big climb I've ever been on.

I know, dude, but so
have Jeff and Chris.

And you got PV this time, man.
There's nobody better than him.


Okay. Hey...

Sorry, dude. It's
okay... Hey. It's okay.

Will you still help me train?

You bet your sweet blind
ass I will help you train.


As a matter of fact, I'm gonna
do everything in my power

to get you to the
top of that mountain

and when you are there,
freezing your ass off,

I'm gonna be down
here all toasty and warm,

taking all the credit.

I can see myself
on Oprah already.

Tell her I say hello.


♪ Pick me up, love... ♪

All right, let's kick
into Morris gear.

♪ Up to the top, love Everyday ♪

♪ Pay no mind to
Taunts or advances ♪

♪ I take my chances
on Everyday ♪

♪ Left to right Up
and down, love ♪

♪ I push up love, love... ♪

Let me do that.

♪ ...Everyday ♪

♪ Jump in the mud, oh
Get your hands dirty with ♪

♪ Love it up on Everyday ♪

♪ All you need is
All you want is ♪

♪ All you need is love ♪

♪ All you need is
What you want is... ♪

Nice work there, blind man.

It's about time
you figured that out.


♪ Everyday ♪

♪ Everyday ♪

♪ Oh, everyday ♪


Go, go, go!

♪ Lift me up, love ♪
♪ Everyday ♪

You smell that? That's
the smell of victory.

I think you boys are ready.



We're gonna miss
you up there, man.

I know, man.

You know what, man? Yeah?

You may be blind,
but you sure are ugly.




Oh, man.

Erik, come and check this out.

Dude, you can see
the South Col, man.

Here, it's this way.

See the summit? There's huge

plumes of snow
coming off the top, man.

Looks like a waterfall
running up into the sky.

It's awesome. Yeah.

ERIK: That's insane.



What are all those mounds?


To Sherpas and climbers
killed on other expeditions.

Some of them
are friends of mine.

Their bodies are still
up on that mountain.

It's too risky to bring
them back down.



Don't know why
everyone's clapping.

Today was a walk in the park.


I think they're
clapping for me, son.

There's one for me.
Here you go, Dad.


It's a miracle.
ERIK: It's awesome.

I didn't think I'd make it.

ERIK: Good job. Thanks.

Good job.

That's my summit.

All right, enough rest.
Let's put up the tent.

You ready, Dad?

[LAUGHS] All right, you rest.

You're up, Big E.

He is climbing the mountain too?


ANG: Hi, Erik.

Hey, Ang, want some coffee?

Yes, please, Erik. Here you go.

Thank you.

No. Thank you, Ang.

Sherpas weren't exactly
lined up out the door

to join our expedition.

I just want you to know I
appreciate you coming along.

You cannot take it personally.

In our culture we believe
that those who are blind

have bad karma.


What made you join us then?

I believe that people
make their own karma.


I'll drink to that.

Besides that, PV
pay me a lot of money.



Well, dudes,

no church can rival
the grandeur of Everest.

Dear God.

Give us the will
and the patience

to climb this awesome mountain

and come home to our loved ones.

Help us to make good decisions

and take care of one another

and leave the mountain

with our friendships


ALL: Amen.


ED: Look out for
him up there, hey?

MAN: Good luck. ED: Thank you.

Thanks you very much.

Thanks, guys. Thank you.

Hey, Dad, are you gonna
be okay getting down?

I'm good to go, son.

MARK: Yeah, he'll tough it out.

ERIK: Okay, man.

Godspeed, Erik.
Thanks for your help.

You all right there? Take
good care of yourself.

Thanks, buddy.

Appreciate it.

Well, Erik, uh,

thanks for letting me
be part of this, uh...

This great adventure. Oh.

Of course, Dad.

Now, uh, we're gonna be
following you pretty closely.

So, uh, we expect that
summit call, all right?

Yeah, I know. No,
you will. You'll get one.

Yeah, okay.

MAN: Let's go, dude. Let's go.

Have a good flight back.

PV: Pick it up, guys. Come on.

Take good care
of that hip, all right?


You be safe, son.

All right.



Well, ain't gonna
be traveling today.

It's 0/0 out there.
It's all socked in.

Pass the tea, Mike.

The sky gets so gray and flat

you can't tell it from the snow.

Come to think of it, you're
in 0/0 all day long, blind boy.

You wanna head
out, it's probably okay.

Hey, Big E.'s got a better
sense of direction than I do, man.

Four days of high
pressure, starting tomorrow.

ALL: Yeah! All right! Okay!

Now, listen, we only
have a few days left,

then we have to
be off the mountain.

So one hard day to
Camp 2, another to Camp 3

another to Camp
4, then summit day.

You guys are gonna do it, hey?


KEVIN: All right,
what are we eating?

Have a seat.

KEVIN: Yeah, man.
Yeah, we're good.



You all right, dude?

Feels like I'm
running a marathon

with a plastic bag over my head.

Ha. Don't worry.

It's supposed to feel miserable.


Feel for that little cliff
right in front of you there.

Got it. Step up on that.

Yeah, that's it. It's
about a foot high.

All right, man.



Whoa! Whoa!

All right, dude.

About 25,000 feet up

and Super Blind's
puking his guts out.

It's a fine day on the mountain.


Let's do it.

PV: Follow my voice, Erik.

One hundred yards.

Welcome to Camp 4, dude.
Last stop before we summit.





The original plan, PV,
was to rest only seven hours

and head to the summit tonight.

Copy that, Kevin.

But a lot of the
stronger climbers

are toast after setting up camp.

Will the weather
hold another day?


It doesn't look good.

Well, dudes, what do you think?

Anyone that wants
to summit tonight,

give me a "yes" on the radio.

Otherwise, we stick together
and push out tomorrow.

But it's your
call. It's your call.


I guess that means
it's all for one.

And one for all.

And one for all.

And one for all.

RADIO]: And one for all.

RADIO]: And one for all.

And one for all.

MAN 2: And one for all.

We push out tomorrow.


PV, what's wrong?
Are you all right?

No, I don't think so.


This is PV.

I'm toast.

Do you need help getting down?

No, no, no, go on without me.


Godspeed, gentlemen.


Why are you guys just
standing around not talking?

Well, we can't move forward
in this storm, numb nuts.

Looks like our luck has run out.

What do you think, Big E.?

It's looking pretty grim.

I say we give it a chance.

I think it's gonna clear.

Great, the blind guy
thinks it's gonna clear.







See that beautiful star, Emma?

It's just like the
one in the story

that your daddy
and I read to you.

The story I read to
him when we first met.

It means your
daddy's gonna make it.


Hey, guys,

don't quit yet.

Storm's moving
fast to the northeast.

You may not see it
up there, but down here

the weather's just cleared.

Awesome. Awesome.

Hey, look. Looks like
Super Blind may be right.

Whoo! Oh, yeah.

Let's see if this
thing breaks up.

Let's move out. Follow me out.

Hey, Big E., I guess you're
a weatherman now too, huh?

ERIK: You don't call me
Super Blind for nothing.

CHRIS: You got that right.

Okay, let's go.
Over to the right.

ERIK: Stay close.


Just follow the
sound of my ice pick.




Oh, no.


CHRIS: The ropes the
Sherpas set up for us

are all frozen in.

Erik, we got a problem.

Erik, do you copy?

What's the matter?

The fixed lines are frozen.

The ones ahead, we...

It's too steep to
climb without them.

This ain't your train, Big E.

What do we do, PV?

Where's O'Donnell?
He's the ice man.

He's way back there.

He's having problems

with this zone too.


Hang in, I'll clear it out.

Don't do it, dude.

It's gonna sap all your energy.

Bro, I wouldn't even be here

if it wasn't for
you and your dad.

It's all good, brother.

CHRIS: Okay, you
guys head on up.

I'll go check on Mikey O.



Straight ahead, bro.
Get over here, man.

How are you feeling?




This is gonna...

This is gonna have
to be my summit.

I was gonna say

if I make it,

you'll be my hero.

But you already are.

Thanks, bro.

Let's go, Ang. Let's go.

Ang, what do I got? Talk to me.

ANG: One step down, Erik.


One step down.

All right.

Be careful.



ERIK: Hold on a second, Ang.

ANG: Are you okay?


I think I hit the wall.

Erik, you wanna keep
going or you wanna go back?


CHRIS: Hey, Super Blind!

You sure are slow, but at least,

you can't see
where you're going!

ERIK: What took you so long?

CHRIS: Hey, you know how I like

to make a big entrance.

Okay, follow me directly.

To the left, we got an
8000 foot drop to Nepal.

To the right, we got a
12,000 foot drop to Tibet.

No room for error.

Let's kick this
into Morris gear.


We're almost there, E-train.


CHRIS: Almost there, Big E.

Big E., Big E.


Welcome to the top of the world, man.



This is Erik, Chris and Pasang.

We're on the top.

I can't believe it.
I can't believe it.

Yapodora, Ang.

Yapodora, Ang.

Yapodora. Yapodora.

You're the best, Big E.

You're the strongest
man in the world.


You're all right, Big E.

I wasn't gonna let you summit

and have to hear about
it the rest of my life.

Thank God.



All right, boys.

We did it.

Hey... Hey, Kevin? Kevin?

KEVIN: Yeah, Big E.?

You remember what to do?

They're already
on their way, buddy.


He made it.




You did it, man. Oh, God.

So many people
doubted you, but you did it.


Weather's changing, boys.

Celebrate fast.

And listen, making it to
the summit is optional.

Getting down is mandatory.

Maybe we should go
down. We should go down.

Wait a second, Big E.

You're only gonna
be here once, man.

Take a look
around. Take it all in.

Think about where you
are and what you've done.




ALL: We're on the
top of the world!


Top of the world. We did it.



All right, let's go down.