Cape Town resident Chris Venter has just become the first blind person to hike Lion’s Head. Guided by fellow adventurer, Kosta Papageorgiou, Venter conquered 669m of uphill terrain.
Also known as Blind Scooter Guy, Venter has become an inspiration for many after a virus he contracted caused him to lose his sight in 2013. However, he has not allowed his loss of vision to hold him back, and recently undertook a journey in which he followed in the footsteps of 19th century blind traveller, James Holman. This journey had him climb Mount Etna and kayak in the Amalfi coast among other difficult activities.
He recently set his sights on Lion’s Head, and was able to conquer it with the help of Lion 500 founder Kosta Papageorgiou. Venter held on to Papageorgiou’s shoulder whilst being orally guided by the mountain veteran every step of they way.
The ascent took 10 hours to complete, and was not an easy one. On the Lion 500 Facebook page, Papageorgiou writes that they had to take a break midway through the hike as Venter was taking much strain and they had run out of water.
“We all had 1 liters of water each for the summit, but we underestimated the amount of effort and time it would take to get a adventurous blind man up and down a tricky mountain such as Lion’s Head. It was also REALLY hot, we got sunburnt really bad.”
Despite this, however, they made the tricky trip up the mountain. Speaking to Weekend Argus, Papageorgiou said that this hike has been life-altering.
“This is the first time I have ever done this with a blind person. I have so much respect for Chris. We all should really appreciate what we have,” said Papageorgiou.
Papageorgiou is the founder of Lion 500, a challenge that aims to raise R500,000 for the #beahumblehero fund in support of Cape Town charities Rape Crisis, Fallen Angels and Depression SA by reaching the summit of Lion’s Head 500 times. He is currently at 423 hikes, and aims to reach his goal by the end of the year. Papageorgiou does this to inspire people from all walks of life to be a collaborative part of nature, as well as to empower others.
Venter will soon take part in the The Breede, Berg & Between, by Bike, Boat & Boot. Blind 2020 Challenge, in which he aims to become the first blind person to travel these areas by bike, boat and foot.
Picture: Facebook / Lion 500