Mountaineer and expedition leader
First woman to climb Everest from both the North and South sides
Expert on team dynamics, leadership and motivation
Cathy O’Dowd is the first woman to climb Everest from both south and north sides. She has stood on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain four times, reaching its summit twice.
She has been on the mountain as the last minute ‘token woman’ team-member, and as an expedition leader. She has worked in partnership with a wide range of international teams forced to co-operate on popular routes, and has climbed on a team attempting a new route, the only expedition on the entire east face. She has faced the ‘worst storm in the history of Everest’ and the giant avalanches of the Kangshung face, and she has faced warring team members as egos ran rampant. She has experienced both the thrill of the summit and the reality of failure, and has paid the ultimate price with the loss of fellow climbers.
Cathy draws on this wide-ranging experience of teams under acute pressure attempting overwhelming challenges to create her corporate presentations. Her stories touch on themes of importance to anyone trying to get the best out of people.
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