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Ross Watson

First blind person to climb Mount Logan,
the highest peak in Canada


“Fate alone will fail to bring you to positive opportunities. You need to actively put your self in the path  of change and let faith in yourself take you to new experiences.”

When Ross Watson talks about taking risks, teamwork, and personal dignity, he truly speaks from experience. An outdoor enthusiast for over 20 years, Ross was the first blind climber to attempt North America’s highest mountain, 20,320 foot Mount McKinley, in Alaska, in 1990. After 21 days on the mountain and only 6 hours from the summit, a severe storm on the upper reaches of the mountain forced Ross and all but two members of the team to descend. Five days later, the expedition realized success when two climbers reached the summit. In 2000, Ross fulfilled a lifelong dream by organizing and taking part in an expedition to be the first blind climber to summit Canada’s highest mountain, 19,640 foot Mount Logan in Canada’s Yukon. On May 25, 2000 after 19 days of 60-kilometer winds and -35ºC temperatures, Ross and his three teammates reached the West Summit of Mount Logan.

“ Challenging yourself in a physical environment helps us get in touch with our values and focuses us on the personal strengths that are necessary for us to grow as individuals in our personal, spiritual and professional lives.” 

In addition to these climbing exploits, Ross represented Canada in the Para Olympics in the 15 and 30-kilometer Nordic events in 1988. From 1994 to 2001 Ross was a member of a panel that reviewed Alberta’s Human Rights Commission and related legislation and supported 54 changes to Alberta ’s Human Rights Act.  From 1995 to 2001, Ross served two terms has a municipal councilor, receiving the highest percentage of the popular vote in both his election campaigns.  In 2002, Ross was appointed Operation Eyesight Universal’s (O.E.U.) Canadian Ambassador of Vision.  In July 2005, Ross will participate in a traverse of the central mountain range on Baffin Island in the Canadian Artic.

Ross has been the recipient of numerous awards: a Rotarian ‘Integrity Award’; the Cochrane ‘Hero of the Year’ Award, the Canadian ‘Golden Jubilee Medal’ from the Department of Canadian Heritage for his service to Canada, community and fellow Canadians and the prestigious ‘Alberta Centennial Medal’, which celebrates the province’s first 100 years by paying tribute to Albertan’s whose achievements have benefited their fellow citizens, their community and their province.

 "What I've learned from my blindness and mountain climbing is that society sets expectations, but we set our own limitations."

Ross is a dynamic speaker, who has made numerous radio and television appearances from the Canadian Artic to New York State. He has spoken to large corporate groups, focused professional development sessions and universities. Drawing on his unique mountain climbing experiences and an uncompromising belief in the power of personal goals, teams, dreams and ambition, Ross delivers a memorable keynote on the rewards of taking risks and striving for success. Ross speaks on his beliefs that:  

Action is the first step in creating change

Freedom, individuality and unity are the basis of a 
good team

The fear of failure has defeated us more 
often than failure itself

Risk is essential to personal discovery

Personal Wellness leads to your Personal Best

To answer the eternal question, “what is the meaning of life”, you need to create purpose in your own life

Being truthful about your fears is all that is required to empower your self

We all have a summit in us

Ross leaves his audiences motivated and inspired to believe in themselves, take risks, and achieve their own personal Summits of Success.







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Click to view John Amatt's Keynote Presentation Brochure as Acrobat PDF

"If Ross Watson pursued his adventures with perfect vision they would be remarkable.  As a blind person his achievements set him in a class apart from ordinary adventurers."

- One Step Beyond WorldWide

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