Lei Wang is an American citizen now living in Boston currently training
for a 2010 expedition to Mt. Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. If she
successfully summits Everest, she’ll become the first Chinese woman, as well
as the first Asian-American woman, to climb the Seven Summits. She has also
already reached the North and South Poles, which can only be traversed by
skiing through extreme conditions.
Lei Wang is an American citizen now living in Boston but born in China’s
Jiang Su province. She is currently training for a 2010 expedition to Mt.
Everest, the world’s tallest mountain. If she successfully summits Everest,
she’ll become the first Chinese woman, as well as the first Asian-American
woman, to climb the Seven Summits (Kilimanjaro, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua,
Carstensz Pyramid, Vinson, and Everest). She has also already reached the
North and South Poles, which can only be traversed by skiing through extreme
conditions. Once Lei has climbed Everest, she’ll be one of only 10 people to
have completed what’s referred to as the “7 + 2” challenge*.
In 2004, Lei was inspired to sacrifice a normal life and career to learn
the technical skills and undertake the physical conditioning necessary to
reach the highest mountains in the world. She has experienced a physical and
ideological transformation, as well as many associated financial challenges,
to reach this pinnacle.
Lei hopes that her example will inspire regular people to challenge
themselves to do something they once considered impossible. She especially
hopes to inspire Chinese people, American immigrants, and women around the
world to stretch beyond their limits.
About Lei Wang: A graduate of Tsinghua University in Beijing, Lei came to
the US in 1995 to study computer science and later earned an MBA at the
Wharton School. While at Wharton, Wang rediscovered her love of the outdoors,
climbing her first glacier mountain, Cotopaxi in Ecuador (5,897m/19,347ft) and
her first “big peak,” Kilimanjaro in Africa.
It was on the trip to Kilimanjaro that Wang discovered how weak she was. Of
all of her classmates who took that trip, she was the weakest and slowest.
When she returned, she decided to improve her fitness and began running after
work in the gym near her new home in Boston. She went on to run one half
marathon and two full marathons later that year.
In February of 2004 Wang saw Touching the Void, a documentary movie about a
first ascent of a peak in Peru that nearly ended in tragedy. Later that year
she saw Women of K2, a documentary about women climbers of the harshest
mountain on the planet. The next day she checked out every movie in the Boston
Public Library on Everest and watched them all in one day. It was at that
point that she decided she would climb Everest, and after more research, she
decided that she would do all of the Seven Summits—the highest peak on each of
the seven continents.
She has now climbed six of the Seven Summits: Kilimanjaro (July 2003),
Elbrus (Aug 2005), Denali (June 2007), Carstensz Pyramid (Nov 2007), Vinson
(Dec 2007), Aconcagua (Jan 2008). She has also skied to the North Pole (Apr
2008) and the South Pole (Jan 2008). With only Mt. Everest left, she is well
on her way to becoming the first Chinese woman to accomplish this feat.
About the Seven Summits
The Seven Summits—Kilimanjaro, Denali, Elbrus, Aconcagua, Carstensz Pyramid,
Vinson, and Everest—are the highest peaks on each of the seven continents.