Mount Everest was a culmination of an odyssey that began at age twelve when Sharon Wood's father took her up her first mountain. By the time she was seventeen she was devoting all her time to climbing. Laurie Skreslet met Sharon at Outward Bound and knew she was out of the ordinary. “It was obvious to me the moment I saw her that she was committed, grounded, determined, focused, persevering…overflowing with potential.”
Her first break came in 1977 when she joined an all-women’s expedition to Mount Logan. Then in 1983 Sharon Wood had her first big success with the Cassin Ridge on Mount McKinley which “really changed my attitude. I didn’t see myself so much as a woman but as a climbing partner. I came back with a lot of confidence.” Expeditions to Makalu (l984), the south face of Aconcagua (l984) and the northeast face of Huascaran Sur (1985) followed. By 1986 Sharon Wood realized that she was “ready for anything.” Her ascent of Mount Everest by the difficult west ridge and north face was first for a North American woman, but as her friend Albi Sole recalled, “It’s not because she was a woman that she got to the top, it’s because she was the right person for the job…”
After Everest Sharon Wood moved on to other adventures. Much in demand as a public speaker, she travels North America sharing her experiences and her approach to risk. In 1988 she married and is now raising a family. Much of her time nowadays is taken up organizing a private school she started in her home town of Canmore, Alberta. In 1997 Sharon received the Summit of Excellence Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Sharon Wood explained her motives in a recent interview. “The constants that I have strived to maintain through all of these things is …the steep learning curve, the intensity, perhaps a certain degree of risk….and tremendous adventure…and that ongoing, never ending quest for self-knowledge.
EVEREST: TO THE SUMMIT AND BEYOND
Sharon Wood teaches, entertains and inspires with her personal story about reaching the top of Mount Everest. It is a story about a small team that shared a bold vision to climb the highest mountain in the world; by a more difficult route, with fewer physical and financial resources, and in better style.
Sharon's style is personal and moving. She uses powerful anecdotes and vivid analogies to convey the real-life obstacles and possibilities of achievement.
Sharon effectively conveys both the individual and the team perspective. She emphasizes the importance of her own passion while striving to realize her personal aspirations. As well, she talks of her essential role as a member of a team committed to levering every component of their strategy to realize their vision.
To the Summit and Beyond is more than just an adventure story it is a timeless, universal story about human struggle and conquest against all odds. Sharon¹s authentic and honest approach evokes listeners to consider their own stories while examining the critical elements that contribute to and define personal and team success.
Stunning 35mm slides or PowerPoint images and video taken live from the highest mountain in the world support her presentation.
TAKE A RISK, LIVE LIFE!
Risk is a factor tied to much of what we do. Risk is often the deterrent to acting on what we need to do to live a more fulfilling life. Sharon espouses the value of selective risk taking as a means to experiencing our greater potential. Anticipation of loss, fear and anxiety are feelings most often associated with risk. Sharon conveys the strategies and essential components she has used to push through her fears and barriers. She speaks to preparation, a clear vision, intention and desire as being essential components to minimizing and calculating a risk. Most importantly she speaks to rewards of being a risk taker and winning in life.
Founder and Chairperson of a private school in her community, President of her own company Adventure Dynamics Inc, first North American woman to summit Mount Everest, a professional mountaineer and a mother of two sons; Sharon is leading a life rich with risk, challenge and change.
Through humor, passion and self-disclosure Sharon describes the elements of risk in a variety of endeavors. She draws from her personal experience in public speaking, implementing community and team projects, and climbing the highest mountain in the world to explore the balance of losses and gains in risk taking.
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