Photo: Alexis A McKeown

Canadian, SHARON WOOD made history in l986 when she became the first woman from North America to climb Mount Everest. Her small team’s ascent of the difficult West Ridge, without Sherpa support, was a first from the Tibetan side. Despite several attempts since, their route has never been repeated.

Sharon’s success on Everest catapulted her into an accidental career as a professional speaker. She has shared the story with over a thousand audiences. More storyteller than motivational speaker, she reveals how she and her teammates thrived under daunting conditions and prevailed despite seemingly impossible odds. Their story is a testimonial to the power of teamwork, commitment and the potential we all possess to realize extraordinary results.

Wood’s memoir, Rising, released in the fall of 2019, is part gripping adventure story and part meditation on sustaining passion and purpose. Rising was thirty years in the making, which Wood believes was the requisite time for this universal story to steep in introspection and life experience.

Sharon is an active ACMG certified Alpine guide with four decades of experience climbing in the mountain ranges of the world, including the Cassin Ridge on Denali, Alaska; the South Face of Aconcagua; multiple ascents of 6000-metre peaks in the Peruvian Andes and an attempt on the Himalayan peak, Makalu (the fifth highest mountain in the world).

In recognition of her accomplishments, she has received the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor General of Canada; the Professional Mountaineer of the Year Award from the American Alpine Club; Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from University of Calgary, and the Summit of Excellence Award at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

She considers the raising of two high-spirited sons and her past involvement as co- founder and president of a fully accredited school in her community, among her greatest accomplishments.

Sharon is the owner of Adventure Dynamics, a mountain guiding and speaking business. She resides in Canmore, Alberta with her husband and divides her time between Guiding, climbing, Speaking, writing and enjoying an active mountain lifestyle.

Photo: Caroline Marion