Blind climber manages unique ascent
In an astonishing show of bravery, a blind climber has scaled one of the most dangerous rock faces in the world. Steve Bate is 35 years old, and is now the first registered blind person to scale the legendary El Capitan monolith in California. Considered the most dangerous climb in the world by many experts, it was made even more dangerous due to the fact that Bate also had to carry 100 kg of supplies.
The climb took six days to complete, and at nighttime Mr. Bate used a hanging hammock to sleep in. Two years ago he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition that lead to him being registered blind.
During the climb Steve fell twice, and at one point almost gave up the climb after hearing that a friend’s girlfriend had been hit by a car.
His blindness is not total yet, and doctors have told him that he can expect to be completely sightless within three years. The condition he has means that his eyes are degenerating from the outside in. He currently only has peripheral vision, which is why he is considered to have what is commonly termed ‘tunnel vision’.
Mr. Bate managed the 3,000 feet climb to raise money for a sight charity near his home. He hopes that his efforts on this climb will help to inspire future climbers, both sighted and sightless. He currently has no plans for any further climbs, but considering he has scaled one of the most formidable cliffs in the world, he will be forgiven for having a rest.