In honor of International Women’s Day I decided to do a little research on women who have left their mark on the outside world. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t easy finding anyone. My google searches kept turning up articles about how females can stay safe on the trail or tips for female hikers. While working on this research I realized just how ignorant I am about women adventurers. So I will be starting a new project. I will be researching one woman every week and will provide you with information about them. It’s so inspiring to read about so many adventurous women!
This week I’ll be starting with Cecilie Skog…
Skog, born August 9, 1974, in Ålesund, Norway is an inspiration to women everywhere. She has reached ‘The Three Poles:’ North Pole, South Pole, and Mt. Everest. As well as the Seven Summits, the tallest mountain on each continent. No other woman has accomplished what she has. On top of that, Cecilie crossed Antarctica together with Ryan Waters. They had no supplies delivered during the trip and used no dogs or ski sails to get there. This had never been done before.
Her love for adventuring began in high school with some outdoor classes. Soon she began climbing the mountains in her home town. Before long she began a climbing class so she could become better and faster at summiting mountains in the region. She started out as a nurse but before long became a glacier guide. Her achievements include:
The seven summits
- Mount Everest, 8848 m (Asia) 2004
- Aconcagua, 6962 m (South America) 1999
- Denali, 6194 m (North America) 2001
- Kilimanjaro, 5895 m (Africa) 2004
- Mount Vinson, 4897 m (Antarctica) 2006
- Elbrus, 5642 m (Europe) 2003
- Mount Kosciuszko, 2228 m (Oceania/Australia) 2006
- Carstensz Pyramid, 4884 m (Oceania/Papua) 2007
- 1996: Mont Blanc 4807 m
- 2003: Shisha Pangma 8042 m (Reached 7400 m)
- 2003: Cho Oyu 8201 m
- 2004: Greenland, crossing the inland ice East to West – 610 km.
- 2005: K2 8611 m (Reached 7300 m)
- 2005: South Pole, skied from Ross Ice Shelf to the pole in 32 days.
- 2006: North Pole, skied from Ellsemere Island to the pole in 49 days.
- 2008: K2, 8611 m, summited on August 1 with Lars Nessa. First Norwegians to summit K2.
- 2009: Greenland, crossing the inland ice West to East – 590 km.
- 2010: Crossing Antarctica, from Berkner Island via the South Pole to Ross Ice Shelf in 70 days and more than 1800 km.
- 2011: interrupted ski attempt (dragging a canoe) to North Pole during summer time, which no one has yet managed.
Skogs attempted to summit K2 in 2005, but didn’t quite reach the top. The mountain is said to be tougher than Everest. So she and her husband returned in 2008 but the it resulted in tragedy. On the groups descent an avalanche swept away the groups ropes, killing 11. Skogs’s husband was among the 11 that lost their lives that day. Understandably, she took some time away from mountaineering but since then she has visited both the North and South Poles as well skied cross-country through Greenland.
To get an insight on how amazing this woman is, here is one of my favorite quotes from her interview with Ingo Wilhelm of Four Seasons:
I don’t think I’m especially beautiful. It could be that some people find me attractive because I’m a dainty girl. However, I wish they were interested in me because of my achievements as an adventurer and not because of my appearance.
Her dedication and determination have taken her all over the world, setting new records for women everywhere. Her achievements alone shatter misconceptions of women in the outdoor industry. I’m looking forward to what Cecilie Skogs achieves in the future, currently she is working for Bergans of Norway as an expedition member.
Besides the links already provided in this post I also referenced these sites: