Sept. 7, 2019

Erik Weihenmayer has long been an idol for LSR7’s Isaac McBurney.

But though the Lee’s Summit North freshman once won an award named after Weinhenmayer at an Alphapointe summer camp for kids with visual impairments, Isaac assumed the first blind man to summit Mount Everest would be someone he continued to admire from afar.

Then, Isaac’s parents sat him on the couch and gave him an incredible surprise. His mom, Kara, was flying him out to Keystone, Colorado, to hike a mountain with Weinhenmayer. The opportunity was made possible through Weinhenmayer’s nonprofit, No Barriers.

Wearing a blue “What’s Your Everest?” shirt, McBurney completed the 6.4 mile hike on Aug. 24.

“Even if there is not a physical mountain in your life that you need to climb, you can overcome the obstacles in your life,” he says about the experience.