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Cathy ODowd

The First Woman to Summit Everest from North & South Sides

Cathy O'Dowd is a winning explorer and raconteur.

Not one to submit to adversity, she reached Everest's peak from the south, despite facing the worst storm in the mountain's history.

She took on the challenge of the treacherous north side two years later, but her attempt ended when she stopped to try and save a dying climber.

A year later she returned and succeeded in becoming the first woman to climb Everest from both the north and south sides.

The first woman to conquer both the north and south sides of Everest

Cathy ODowd

In detail

A former university lecturer with a Masters degree in Media Studies, she grew up in South Africa.

Now based in Europe, she remains an active adventurer. Her challenges have taken her from the heights of the Himalaya to the rock walls of the USA to the wilderness of the Arctic.

What she offers you

Cathy weaves together the literal adventure of the climb and the metaphorical challenge of reaching for the peak of achievement, sharing her stories of challenge, adventure, passion for life and the reality of death.

Cathy's great strength lies in combining her dramatic adventures with a coherent message to business. Her inspirational presentations entertain and motivate while reinforcing key principles of best business practise.

How she presents

Cathy is a fluent and passionate speaker, combining humour and drama, weaving a spell-binding story out of which she subtly draws her metaphors for achievement. All presentations are dramatically illustrated with photographs from the mountain.


She presents in English and Spanish.

Want to know more?

Give us a call or send us an e-mail to find out exactly what she could bring to your event.

How to book her?

Simply phone, fax or e-mail us.


  • Leadership
  • Team Dynamics and Creating Effective Teams
  • Risk Assessment
  • Overcoming Obstacles
  • Motivation of Self and Others
  • Facing New Challenges
  • Goal-setting
  • Effective Partnerships, Including Inter-cultural


  • 1999
    Just for the Love of it
  • 1997
    Everest: Free to Decide


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