Masha Gordon, mum-of-two, fastest women to complete the Explorers’ Grand Slam challenge!

June 28, 2016

The Explorers’ Grand Slam is the ultimate adventure challenge that involves climbing the world’s highest peaks on each of the seven continents as well as trekking to the geographic North and South poles.

 

Masha began her Explorers' Grand Slam challenge in October 2015 she has now scaled the world’s highest peaks on each of the seven continents – Everest (Asia), Kilimanjaro (Africa), Vinson Massif (Antarctica), Aconcagua (South America), Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia), Mt. Elbrus (Europe) and Denali (North America) as well as trekked to the geographic North and South poles.

 

The extraordinary demands of the challenge mean she's been pushed to the edge of physical endurance and mental resilience. She's spent over a 100 days in a tent and spent three weeks trekking on skis to the North and South Poles in -40C weather and exposed herself to the “death zone” – the high altitude above 8,000 where there is not enough oxygen for humans to breathe.

 

Only two other people have completed the Explorers' Grand Slam challenge (including the two poles) in under a year and just 45 in total. The previous female world record title holder was Vanessa O’Brien who completed the record in 11 months. Masha did it in 8 months!

 

Click below to listen now!!

 

Show notes

  • Early years and growing up and not being athletic!

  • Falling in love with the mountains and getting that sense of achievement from adventure

  • What the Explorers’ Grand Slam is and how it came about

  • Negotiating time with the family to make time for the challenge

  • Remembering back to taking the first step of the challenge

  • The importance of having a sounding board

  • What aspect of the challenge worried her the most and why

  • Getting fit and building up her endurance

  • Starting the Explorers Grand Slam with climbing Kilimanjaro in 24 hours

  • Everest and attempting the summit

  • Dealing with fragility and how it became a story about grit

  • Teaming up with Lydia Bradey and deciding to climb or not with the potential for 50 mph winds on the way

  • What they had to do, to remain safe on the mountain. 

  • Knowing your limits and why you need to put things into perspective 

  • Getting off Everest and why that can be the riskiest part

  • Grit & Rock the charity, how it came about and why its so important for young women

  • What Masha learned most about herself throughout this experience. 

  • What her children thought about her adventure and how its changed her children

Check out the Grit & Rock Website for more info! 

 

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