Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
Banners Ads
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace


   Mailing List

News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Seven Summits
   Readers Guide

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement






  Everest Summiter Stacy Allison Q&A

Stacy's climbed the world's most famous mountain, now she's helping organizations across the globe scale their own monumental challenges.

Stacy Allison brings a vast range of experiences and knowledge to her energetic and dynamic presentations. Stacy is best known as the First American woman to summit Mt. Everest.  She is also president of Stacy Allison General Contracting, a residential building company. She serves on the Board of Trustees of National University and is the Chairperson for The Oregon Lung Association's fundraiser, Reach the Summit. Remarkably, she is also a successful author and committed mother of two.

At the age of 21, Stacy began major alpine climbing in earnest and achieved rapid success. Within a year, Stacy reached the top of Alaska’s Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America, and was part of the first successful women’s ascent of Ama Dablam, the 22,495 foot peak known as Nepal’s Matterhorn. These accomplishments provided the groundwork for much greater accomplishments.

Stacy was the first American woman to top Pik Communism, at 24,600 feet, the tallest peak in the Russian Pamir Range.

On her first attempt on Mt Everest, Stacy did not summit.  She describes the challenge:  “The worst storm in forty years trapped us in a snow cave at 23,500 feet for five days.  Turning back can be the most important yet difficult decision of all, particularly when there is so much pressure to succeed.” Stacy reflects, “If you see yourself as trying to beat the mountain, eventually the mountain will win.  You don’t conquer mountains, you cooperate with them." Stacy returned to Mt. Everest with the Northwest American Everest Expedition.  On September 29, 1988, after twenty-nine days on the mountain, Stacy became the first American woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, the world’s highest mountain at 29,028 feet.

Stacy then went on to become the leader of a successful K2 expedition, the world's second highest mountain, considered to be the most difficult peak on Earth to climb. Three of the team of seven made it to the top; after an accident to the third, in keeping with her view of teamwork and leadership, Stacy and the others descended. "In any endeavor, leaders should inspire members of the team with a passion for success, " Stacy says, "but within the framework of team effort. One of the most crucial things to realize, feel and remember, is that when one team member succeeds, the entire team succeeds."

Stacy’s experiences extend well beyond the mountains. She also owns and operates Stacy Allison General Contracting.  She and her team of builders specialize in high end restoration. Stacy and her team, steadfastly preserves the charm and integrity of classic old homes while achieving financial success. In the spirit of giving back to her community, Stacy Chairs the American Lung Association of Oregon’s largest fundraiser, Reach the Summit. 

Stacy’s first book, Beyond The Limits:  A Woman’s Triumph on Everest, is a suspenseful, triumphant adventure story.  Her second , Many Mountains to Climb; Reflections on Competence, Courage and Commitment is an exciting anecdotal account of climbing challenges practically applied to help you plot your way more surely to professional and personal success. Stacy also contributed a chapter on Leadership in the book, Upward Bound, published by Crown Publishing.

Stacy Allison Q&A, enjoy...

1. Was your family supportive of your climbing?
My family was not very supportive when I first began climbing. Climbing is a dangerous sport and they were concerned about me getting hurt or dying. They thought it was very selfish. However, as the years passed, they came to understand how important climbing is to me, how it is such a huge part of who I am. They are now very supportive.
2. Were you treated any different from your male climbing partners?
Not really. The men I climb with treat me as an equal. I look at myself as a person first, and I just happen to be a woman. When I'm climbing, I don't focus on myself as a woman so, neither do the men. Also, I am respected by people in the climbing community for my skills and ability.
3. When did you decide to climb Mt. Everest?
I made Everest my goal after climbing a very difficult route (Cassin Ridge) on Mt. McKinley in Alaska. At the time, this was the most difficult climbing I had done. My climbing partner and I only planned six days for the climb-it took us eleven. When I reached the top of McKinley I felt an incredible swell of emotion. I looked around and felt like I could see forever. And then I thought, if I could climb McKinley, then why not Everest? Six years, and many mountains later, I finally got my chance. I climbed for twelve years before I climbed Everest.
4. Did you reach the top on your first try?
I did not reach the top on my first try. Our team of 15 Americans, no Sherpas, attempted the direct North Face of Mt. Everest from Tibet. We made it to 26,000 feet. On our way to the top a severe storm slammed into the mountain and trapped us in a snow cave at 23,500 feet for five days . When the storm subsided we continued up to 25,500 feet and spent another three days, each day trying to climb higher, but winds on the mountain were still blowing over 100 mph. Finally, we retreated. I knew I still wanted to climb Everest. I wasn't going to give up. I went back the following year and reached the top.
5. Did anyone die on your climb?
No. Our number one goal was for everyone to come back safe and sound, with all our fingers and toes. Our second goal was the top. No one died. We had two minor injuries when our team was hit by an avalanche. Don Goodman and one of our Sherpas were swept thirty feet into a crevasse. Don broke his finger and they both had minor cuts and bruises.
6. What do you eat?
At basecamp we eat like we would at home. For breakfast we have eggs, pancakes, hot cereal, coffee, tea, milk. Lunches can be sandwiches, soup, dried fruit, vegetables, nuts. Dinners are usually soup, rice, potatoes or pasta, some sort of meat or lentils, and dessert. Once we begin climbing and have to carry everything up the mountain on our backs, weight becomes crucial, so we usually eat high calorie light weight foods. Breakfasts are hot chocolate, hot cereal, lots of sugar and butter. Some climbers will eat butter cubes straight, like a popsicle. Not me. My favorite breakfast was a cup of freeze dried potatoes with half a cube of butter. Other climbers don't even drain the grease off their bacon. They eat it. Lunches are usually taken in the form of snacking all day on dried fruit, candy bars, power bars, nuts, canned fish, cheese, dense breads. Dinners are typically soup, freeze dried dinner, hot drinks. The most important thing on a mountain is to stay hydrated. We must drink an incredible amount of liquid. Between 7-9 quarts of water a day. If you become dehydrated you become weak and tired. When you hydrate you stay strong and healthy. I usually drank a lot of my calories with a high carbohydrate/high calorie drink mix. 1000 calories per quart of water. Many climbers lose weight on climbs, not me. I either stay the same or even gain weight. But it takes training to make yourself eat and drink at high altitude, because you tend you lose your appetite the higher you go.
7. Have you seen a Yeti?
No, I haven't. I'd sure love to see one sometime!
8. When did you start climbing?
I began climbing during spring break my first year of college. A friend and I saw a notice on a bulletin board in our dorm from someone who was looking for people to share a ride down to Zion National Park in southern Utah. He was going climbing. Well, it intrigued us and we signed up! I fell in love with climbing almost immediately. I knew this was what I was meant to do.
9. Why did you want to climb Mt. Everest?
I wanted to climb Everest to test myself. I wanted to know if I was tough enough physically and mentally to climb to the top. I wanted to know if I had the skills to do it. I also wanted to know what it would be like to stand on the top of the world.
10. Have you ever had altitude sickness?
No. I have the type of physiology that does well at high altitude. I seem to actually get stronger at altitude.
11. Were you ever afraid?
Sure. There are always times on a climb that get a little scary. However, I never thought I was going to die. In order to move upwards in climbing, I have to recognize that I am afraid, and really pay attention. I have to ask myself: "Am I afraid because I'm in a dangerous situation or is it psychological?" If I'm in a dangerous situation, then I should be afraid. But the important thing here is to control the emotion of fear, to be able to do what needs to be done even though you're afraid in order to get safe again. In other words, if I freak out, my fear has control, I don't, and that puts me in even more danger. To deal with fear you must recognize it for what it is. It's ok to be afraid as long as you don't let your fear stop you.
Stacy’s mission is to motivate people to move beyond limitations and reach for their dreams.  She challenges her audiences to lay the foundation for risk taking by accepting full responsibility for their lives.  She also emphasizes the importance of recognizing and valuing everyone’s contribution as a team member in life’s pursuits.

For more on Stacy see here.


Millet One Sport Everest Boot  has made some minor changes by adding more Kevlar. USES Expeditions / High altitude / Mountaineering in extremely cold conditions / Isothermal to -75°F Gore-Tex® Top dry / Evazote Reinforcements with aramid threads. Avg. Weight: 5 lbs 13 oz Sizes: 5 - 14 DESCRIPTION Boot with semi-rigid shell and built-in Gore-Tex® gaiter reinforced by aramid threads, and removable inner slipper Automatic crampon attachment Non-compressive fastening Double zip, so easier to put on Microcellular midsole to increase insulation Removable inner slipper in aluminized alveolate Fiberglass and carbon footbed Cordura + Evazote upper Elasticated collar.

Expedition footwear for mountaineering in conditions of extreme cold.  NOTE US SIZES LISTED. See more here.



Altitude pre-


   Atlas snowshoes

   Black Diamond




   CaVa Climbing Shoes

   Clif Bar




   Edelweiss ropes
Eureka Tents




   Granite Gear


   Ice Axes

   Kavu Eyewear







   Mountain Hardwear




   New England Ropes







   Princeton Tec

   Prescription Glacier



   Rope Bags

   Seattle Sports

Sleeping Bags






   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
and more here



Send email to     •   Copyright© 1998-2003 EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it