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This edition of SNEWS® Live is brought to you by The North Face
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SNEWS® Live: A man of great vision is working to restore the eyesight of thousands. Renowned climber turned philanthropist Peter Athans is leading the effort to make a surgical procedure to reverse blindness available to the people of Nepal, Tibet, China, Bhutan, India and Pakistan. The Himalayan Cataract Project aims to curb the rise of treatable blindness in the developing world.
In Tibet alone, half of the population will become blind due to cataracts by age 70. Whether due to a genetic predisposition, high levels of UV sunlight, diet or other factors, the Himalayan region has one of the highest rates of curable blindness in the world. Cataract surgery is the most cost effective way to correct the problem.
After more than 20 years of climbing and guiding his way through Central Asia, Athans is giving back to the mountain communities he loves. Having set speed ascents on the Himalayan peaks of Annapurna South, Pumori, Ama Dablam and Cho Oyu, he’s turned his sights on the rapid deployment of eye care and other philanthropic initiatives to improve the lives of indigenous people.
At Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2007 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Athans sat down with SNEWS® Live to talk about how his life of adventure has been transformed to one of social action.