Featured News

It is known as the ‘Savage Mountain’, but Vanessa O’Brien swapped a top job to climb K2 – aged 52

Publication: The Times | Date: June 2018

With 90 tonnes of provisions and equipment, O’Brien covered hundreds of miles of bumpy road.  It took another two years, several avalanches and training injuries to reach the summit.  When she stood on the peak, last summer, she made records as the first American and British woman…

Mountains Have No Ceilings: What Sports Can Teach Us About Women’s Leadership

Publication: National Women’s History Museum | Date: October 2018

Do women act differently on mountains? There are not many female leaders in mountaineering, but I have some examples. I had a female guide on Mt. Rainer and almost immediately I could tell her style apart from her male peers. As our mixed group of nine climbers settled into high…

The Story Behind the 52-Year-Old Woman’s K2 Summit

Publication: Outside Magazine | Date: August 2017

Last month, Vanessa O’Brien found the snow so deep on her K2 summit attempt that she forgot about her aching knee, recent shoulder surgery, and stress fracture in her sacrum. She didn’t think about becoming the oldest woman to ever summit the treacherous, 28,000-foot Pakistani…

Mount Everest is not the hardest mountain to climb — here’s why K2 is so much worse

Publication: Business Insider | Date: May 2019

So, when comparing Everest versus K2, they are very, very different. First, you have two different countries. You have Nepal versus Pakistan, so I’d say technically it’s more challenging to get to Pakistan to get the visas, the logistics…

Remembering Those Lost on the Savage Mountain

Publication: Adventure Journal | Date: August 2016

K2, the killer mountain, has been given its nickname for a good reason. For every four people who have summited, another one has died. I have been to the mountain twice in as many years, most recently last month, and both times not one member of our party reached the top…

Featured Publications

Selection of publications containing interviews, stories, and insights from Vanessa O’Brien and her mountaineering journey.


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