Sharon Wood: Unlocking the Potential Within

Sharon Wood: Unlocking the Potential Within


In this video, the first North American woman to summit Mount Everest, Sharon Wood, shares how to unlock the potential within. She opens by saying this is a story about ordinary people achieving incredible results and figuring out what it is that makes people rise to extraordinary levels of performance. 

Mount Everest was a culmination of an odyssey that began at age twelve when her father took her up her first mountain. By the time she was seventeen she was devoting all her time to climbing. Laurie Skreslet met Sharon at Outward Bound and knew she was out of the ordinary. “It was obvious to me the moment I saw her that she was committed, grounded, determined, focused, persevering…overflowing with potential.”

Her first break came in 1977 when she joined an all women’s expedition to Mount Logan. Then in 1983 she had her first big success with the Cassin Ridge on Mount Mckinley which “really changed my attitude. I didn't see myself so much as a woman but as a climbing partner. I came back with a lot of confidence.” Expeditions to Makalu (1984), the south face of Aconcagua (1984) and the northeast face of Huascaran Sur (1985) followed. By 1986 she realized that she was “…ready for anything.” Her ascent of Mount Everest by the difficult west ridge and north face was first for a North American woman, but as her friend Albi Sole recalled, “It's not because she was a woman that she got to the top, it's because she was the right person for the job.”

First North American Woman to Summit Mount Everest

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Wood is the first North American Woman to reach the top of Mt. Everest. She is also a mentor and guide, who has led many people up to the summit of the world's largest mountain. Since climbing Mount Everest, Sharon has addressed hundreds of groups worldwide as a keynote speaker. Her presentation is a compelling, true story about beating the odds.