Cathy grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a child she was not sporty and labelled herself as an academic. As a shy person, she embraced rock climbing at university and during this podcast we learn more about Cathy, her drive, and how she went onto become the fist women to climb Mount Everest from both sides.
Take a listen now! - Hit the play button below!!
What it was like growing up in South Africa
Being terrible at sport at young age and labelling herself as “academic & square”
Why she loved rock climbing and how her passion progressed
As an introvert and shy girl growing up, rock climbing allowed her to develop her social skills while also using her mind to solve climbing problems
How she ended up getting on the South African Team to go and climb Everest & why it was never a goal for her
Being inspired by Arlene Blum - Annapurna: A Woman's Place
Trying to find the opportunity to climb big mountains!
What she learnt whilst being on and around Mount Everest
Knowing she was going to make it to the top and the boost it gave to her confidence
Why she has always been careful on the mountains and why you can be to careful
What she learnt about failure from the expedition
Dealing with the negative media coverage and coming home to people who had opinions about her and every decision she made while on the mountain
Finding the opportunity in the mess
Being more prepared to try things
Being process driven, rather than goal driven
Attempting a new route on one of the world’s top 10 mountains – the Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat
The different challenges and adventures that have impacted her the most
Dealing with risk - in high stress environments and how’s she applied what she’s learned in the mountains to every day life
Why she likes to try new things! From skiing down 6,000 metre peaks, to dog sledding in the Arctic!
Waiting for the stars to align & having patience!
Shout out to Alistair Humphrys and his Micro Adventures
Money, finding the right partners & serendipity!
Why she thinks of life like a journey
Her next challenge!
Learn more about Cathy by visiting her website!
Say hi to Cathy on twitter @CathyODowd - I’m also on twitter @_TOUGH_GIRL
Cathy explains how she came to write Just For The Love Of It: "I had always wanted to write a book and finally I had a story that seemed likely to interest other people. I’ve always felt that a lot of mountaineering literature is overly obsessed with stiff-upper-lip tales of overcoming technical difficulties or with portraying climbers as suicidal maniacs. I wanted to write a book that captured that joy that I find in the process of climbing and that shared honestly the emotional journey of the climb, what it really feels like to be floundering around on the side of the world’s highest mountains."