Get in the mindset of an explorer
What does it takes to have the mindset of an explorer?
‘If we succeed at every single thing we’ve ever tried, we haven’t tried anything particularly ambitious’.
Mountaineer, the first woman to have summited Everest from both sides, author and professional speaker Cathy O’Dowd is this week’s guest on WEMcast. WEM Education Lead Will Duffin chats to Cathy about her career and how she’s forged a successful career from adventure.
They start with the global obsession of Everest and the outsourcing of risk and skill as it becomes a commercial climb swamped with novice climbers and long queues. The reflect on Cathy’s first ascents in the 1990s, and how this decade, with its developments in technology and logistics, proved the turning point in drawing the media’s attention to the mountain.
Cathy reflects on her epic climbing attempts – the successes, setbacks and difficult decisions made (plus avalanches, broken bones and unchartered descents). The pair also discuss the artificial concept of ‘turn-back time’ and how mountaineers need to be much more dynamic with their risk assessments and decision making to ensure the safety of their summit attempts.
Cathy and Will also reflect on the hugely misleading idea of ‘never giving up’ and why giving up is in fact one of life’s greatest skills.
Connect with Cathy:
Cathy’s website > http://cathyodowd.com
Instagram > @cathyodowd
Cathy O’Dowd is the first woman in the world to climb the world’s highest mountain from both its north and south sides. Her first ascent of Everest happened in the midst of the chaotic events that form the basis of the ‘true story’ behind the Hollywood movie ‘Everest’.
Cathy, who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, has climbed ever since leaving school, both rock-climbing and alpinism. `Her first expeditions were to central Africa and the Andes, followed by a year exploring the Alps.
She was completing her Master’s degree in Journalism while working as a university lecturer when she saw a newspaper advert for a place on the 1st South African Everest Expedition. Six months later she became the first South African to summit Everest.
Three years on she became the first woman in the world to climb the mountain from both sides. She made one last expedition to Everest to try a new route on the Kangshung face. She has written a book about her Everest experiences, Just For The Love Of It.