24 May 2001 at around 2100 hours, Erik Weihenmayer and his crew left their camp after a twenty-four hour delay. Filled with excitement and apprehension, they directed their focus toward the mountain, not having to worry about hordes of other teams since there was only one other team behind them. As the wind bellowed down the face of the mountain, Chris had to clank his axe against the ice since Erik couldn’t hear the bells on it. Once they got around to the leeward face of the mountain, the wind was blocked off. Chris having lost his voice sparsely gave verbal directions. With the whole crew moving smoothly, they were making great time.
Erik’s disability gave him a tremendous advantage in their next section of the journey. First, Erik was able to save energy by landing his feet in the holes he just had his hands in instead of making new holes as he scaled a rock face. Second, due to the low oxygen levels of the extreme altitudes, the crew was reduced to crawling. It gave Erik more time to scan his axe in front of him to find his way. His last and maybe most important advantage was that since he was blind, he could afford to have a very large mask in order to get the most benefit from his oxygen flow and ambient air around his mask. Erik also