By Karen Morfitt
CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A team in Colorado took the idea of helping others to new heights on Sunday. A nonprofit organization called No Barriers helped a Utah woman climb her first 14,000 foot mountain in Colorado.
It’s a trip Nerissa Cannon, who is progressively losing her balance and motor control of her legs, never thought she would take.
“The majority of the people that ended up on the hike, I didn’t know before that day,” Cannon said.
Twenty-seven people from different parts of Colorado met Cannon at the base of Mt. Beirstadt over the weekend. Starting before the sun, the group set out to help her conquer her goal.
Among them was Golden’s Erik Weihenmayer.
“There’s a lot of towing and pulling and spotting and even caring along the way,” he said.
Weihenmayer is the first blind person to summit Mt. Everest and co-founded the nonprofit which helped organize the climb.
Cannon turned to the organization after learning she would be confined to a wheelchair five years ago.
“Doctors haven’t really been able to give me a definitive answer on what it is stunting me,” Cannon said.
“She did this incredible hike and then she said ‘Hey, do you think I could do a 14er?’ And we said ‘You definitely could,’ and in the back of my mind I am thinking you definitely could but a lot could go wrong too you know,” Weihenmayer said.
After five hours Cannon and the team that rallied behind her reached the top.
“It was really gusty on the ridge before we made the last climb through the boulders, and then we got to the top and it was clear and calm and just still just indescribable,” Cannon said.
The total trip up and down took the group about 10 hours.
To learn more about No Barriers, you can visit: https://www.nobarriersusa.org/.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.