Synopses & Reviews
In 1996, twelve climbers died on Everest in one of the worst disasters in the mountain's history....We were at the same altitude, in the same location, they had been in when they died. We had the same experience levels they had, the same concerns for safety, the same professional and personal ambitions. We had the same amount of time and the same amount of oxygen. But we also had one thing they didn't have. They had clear weather going up, and only abstract worries that a storm might develop. We already had the storm.
This moving and inspirational account presents Phil and Susan Ershler, the first couple in history to scale the fabled Seven Summits. In mountains on every continent they learned to trust each other and to put their lives in each other's hands.
Outwardly, Phil and Susan had little in common. Phil was a professional mountain guide (the first American to summit Everest from the north) who had never revealed his darkest secret: that he suffered from Crohn's disease, a debilitating lifelong illness. Susan was a corporate executive who, at the age of thirty-six, had neither hiked nor climbed. But drawn together by their life-affirming zest for challenge, Susan and Phil formed a true soul connection. Yet from the moment they set the goal of climbing the Seven Summits, that connection would be tested in unexpected ways. Colon cancer, prostate cancer, and a months-long misunderstanding strained and ultimately strengthened their marriage.
This is the story of Phil and Susan's partnership. It is a love story, an adventure story, a story of success against all odds. Above all, it is the story of two people who refused to back down in quest of a seemingly impossible dream.
On May 16, 2002, Phil and Susan Ershler reached thetop of Mt. Everest and became the first couple in historyto scale the fabled Seven Summits. What madetheir achievement all the more remarkable was that Susanwas not a mountain climber, but a high-poweredFortune 500 executive who had never hiked or climbeduntil she met Phil at the age of 36. Phil, a professionalmountain guide who was the first American to summitEverest from its treacherous north face, had climbed hiswhole life with Crohn's disease, a chronic, debilitatingillness. Adding to these challenges, just before their finalsummit, Phil was diagnosed with colon cancer, and theresulting surgeries and complications were expected toend his career. This is Susan and Phil's story: a tale oflove set in the mountains, a story of triumphal highsand devastating lows in quest of a seemingly impossibledream.
The powerful, inspirational true adventure story of the first couple to climb the highest mountain on every continent--and the life-threatening challenges they faced to reach their dream. 16-page color photo insert.
About the Author
Phil Ershler is the world-renowned partner/owner of International Mountain Guides. Phil, his partners, and their guides lead climbs on every continent.
Susan Ershler is a speaker and former executive at Fortune 500 companies. One of the few women ever to complete the Seven Summits, she speaks professionally about pushing past perceived boundaries to pursue your greatest dreams.
Robin Simons is a freelance writer. She has a Master's in Teaching from Leslie College and a Bachelor of Arts with a major in Art History from Brandeis University. She has worked at Boston and Denver Children's Museums.