Cathy O'Dowd – Keynote Speaker

The first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest

Looking for fees and availability for Cathy O’Dowd?
keynote speaker cathy odowd
Most requested speaker

Specialist Subjects

  • Adventure
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Risk Management
  • Project Management

Language

Cathy O'Dowd – Keynote Speaker

The first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest

Looking for fees and availability for Cathy O'Dowd?

Want more information about Cathy O'Dowd?

Enquire to get Cathy O'Dowd's fees and availabilty for you next event

keynote speaker cathy odowd

Cathy O'Dowd
The first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

One of our consultants will get back to you soon

Biography

Cathy O'Dowd is the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, from both its north and south sides.

Cathy remains an active adventurer. From taking a dog-sled expedition through the remote wilderness of the Norwegian Arctic to the northern-most point of Europe, to tackling the sheer rock walls of Yosemite National Park, she always has something in mind.

She was completing her Masters degree in Media Studies at Rhodes University, and working as university lecturer, when she saw an advert in a newspaper for a place on the 1st South African Everest Expedition. She was one of 200 women who applied for the Everest place, and was the one finally selected. The team followed the route made famous by Edmund Hillary. Despite being the apprentice on the team, on 25 May 1996 Cathy reached the summit. It was, however, a tough introduction, as British team-mate Bruce Herrod was killed on the descent.

In 1998 Cathy O'Dowd took on the challenge of the treacherous north side of Everest, where George Mallory had famously disappeared in 1924. Her attempt ended just hours below the summit when she stopped to try and save a dying American woman.

In 1999 she returned once more, and succeeded, becoming the first woman in the world to climb Everest from both north and south sides.

Cathy O'Dowd has written two books about her Everest experiences, Everest: Free To Decide, co-written with Ian Woodall, and Just for the love of it.

In 2000 Cathy O'Dowd became only the fourth woman in the world to climb Lhotse, the world's fourth highest mountain. And in 2003 she returned to Everest one more time to make a bold but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to climb a new route on the notorious east face of Everest.

Watch Cathy O'Dowd speaking

Want to book Cathy O'Dowd as a keynote speaker for your next event ?