SAN FRANCISCO, July 16 Renowned adventurer Alison Levine made history by becoming one of the few Americans to complete the Adventure Grand Slam -- climbing the highest peak on each continent (Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus, Kilimanjaro, Vinson Massif, Carstensz Pyramid, Everest) and skiing to both the North and South Poles. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that Alison was born with a life-threatening heart defect that prohibited her from even climbing stairs, but after successful heart surgery she started climbing mountains and hasn't slowed down since.
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"Fewer than 300 people have succeeded in climbing to the summit of the highest peak of every continent. Very few of those people have also reached the two poles, completing the Adventure Grand Slam," said Harry Kikstra, director of 7summits.com. "Alison's achievement is even more impressive since she not only skied the last degree to the North Pole, but also skied the entire 600 mile Messner Route to the South Pole, becoming the first American to do so. She completed this 38-day arduous journey by skiing for 10 hours a day in sub-zero temperatures with a sled containing 150lbs of gear and supplies harnessed to her waist."
Her story is awe-inspiring and noteworthy on many levels, not only because her recent Everest expedition is the one that completed her Grand Slam bid, but also because the climb was in memory of her friend, Meg Berte Owen who passed away in October '09 from a lung infection at age 37. In her honor, Alison engraved Meg's name on her ice axe and planted it at the summit when she reached the top.
Alison has survived some of the most challenging environmental conditions known to man and is a sought-after consultant and lecturer. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point where she teaches cadets about leading teams in extreme environments. She also runs the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving the lives of women in war-torn areas of Uganda by training them to work as porters and trekking guides in their local mountains.
Her Everest blog and pictures can be found here:
Alison's Everest Blog can be found here
-- Team Captain of 1st American Women's Everest Expedition -- Climbed the 7 Summits (highest peak on each continent) -- Skied across Arctic Circle to North Pole -- 1st American to complete a 600-mile ski traverse via the Messner Route across Antarctica to South Pole -- 1st American woman to complete the Adventure Grand Slam (with a complete Antarctic traverse) -- Adjunct professor, U.S. Military Academy at West Point (Dept. of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership) -- Advisory board member, Coach K/Duke University Center on Leadership & Ethics -- Founded the Climb High Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of jobless women in Uganda by training them to be trekking guides and porters -- Consultant and speaker specializing in organizational effectiveness, leadership development and team dynamics in extreme environments -- Former Wall Street investment manager -- MBA, Duke University
SOURCE Daredevil Strategies