At press time, Boston College Club member Vanessa O’Brien was just two check marks away from completing her ultimate goal: Ascend each continent’s tallest mountain and reach both the North and South Poles in less than a year. The final to-do’s? Climb Kilimanjaro in March and the North Pole in April.
When O’Brien faced recession-induced job uncertainty in 2010, the neophyte climber decided to conquer Mount Everest. After completing that feat in May 2012, she added eight more summits in less than 12 months to her high-altitude quest. Last fall, before her South Pole trek, which involved an aircraft drop-off and skiing 60 nautical miles, O’Brien spoke to her fellow club members about how her business skills, such as leadership and risk management, helped her on her journeys.
Once she conquers Kilimanjaro and the North Pole, the full-time explorer plans to write a memoir about her extraordinary experiences.