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How a Blind Climber Scaled Yosemite’s 3000ft Monolith, El Capitan.

In 2011, Steve Bate was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa; a degenerative eye-disease which will ultimately render him blind. 18 months after the life-changing news, and with just a 10% field of vision – akin to looking through a pin-hole – Steve became the first registered blind man to solo-climb one of the world’s tallest rock-walls, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California.

Not content with just the one enormous victory, within a few months of returning from Yosemite, Steve thought his next seemingly insurmountable goal should be the 2016 Olympics; in a few weeks’ time, he’ll hear whether he’s been selected for GB’s tandem cycling team. Adventurer, climber, athlete, champion cyclist: Steve Bate is Off the Ropes!

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How Steve came to terms with losing his eye-sight.
  • Why he challenged himself to solo-climb one of the world’s tallest monoliths.
  • How it feels to fall off a rock-face at 2000ft!
  • How to sleep comfortably on a 3000ft rock.
  • How climbing El Capitan changed his life.
  • Why he challenged himself to compete at the 2016 Olympics.

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Episode resources:

Steve Bate’s Official Website

British Cycling

Karen Darke

Retinitis Pigmentosa

Yosemite National Park

Outfit Moray

Follow Steve Bate on Twitter and Facebook


  1. Sally Jackson

    Amazing and captivating, what a brave guy, sincerely wish Steve good luck on the 17th June with the Olympic selection, he certainly deserves to be chosen.

  2. Love your honesty and your great sense of humour!
    Clearly an optimist who sees the opportunity in every challenge. Truly inspirational. Look forward to more of your adventures :)

  3. Gary Duke


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