Explorers Grand Slam

Explorers Grand Slam

From Kim Hess

Kim is on a mission to become the youngest American female to conquer the Explorers Grand Slam – an adventure achievement comprised of climbing the highest peak on each continent, known as the Seven Summits, and a tra...

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As an eight-year-old girl my imagination was captured by a photo of Mt. Everest, one that my mother's friend had taken trekking to base camp in the 70's. Mt. Everest is the highest peak in the world, and also one of the Seven Summits-the tallest mountain on each of the seven continents. These peaks are located in some of the most remote, unsupported, and harsh environments on the planet. It's no wonder completing the Seven Summits is one of the most prestigious and acclaimed outdoor achievements on the planet.

My fascination with that photo continued through high school and into college when the Discovery Channel debuted it's new TV series "Everest: Beyond the Limit". I was instantly hooked, and for the very first time I could actually visualize what it would be like to climb Mt. Everest. Still, my dream remained a dream. After college, I embarked on an around the world adventure to find myself. Upon my return, my brother hit me with the most exciting proposal I had ever heard. Knowing my dream of Mt. Everest, he said "Let's don't just climb Everest, let's climb the Seven Summits!" My response, "When do we start?"

My brother and I embarked on the journey of a lifetime completing the first of our Seven Summits in February of 2011. Since then we have completed a total of 5 out of the 7 (South America, North America, Europe, and Africa, and Asia) and are currently on a record-setting attempt to be the first brother-sister duo to complete the peaks.

When I was young, girls were not encouraged to involve themselves in adventure sports like climbing the world's tallest mountains. I was lucky enough to have three older brothers who never allowed me to believe that being a girl was a limitation and continued to dream big. By completing the Explorers Grand Slam I want to inspire young women that if you can dream it, you can do it!

With the support of friends, family and complete strangers, I did the unthinkable- I summited Mt. Everest on May 21, 2016 at 5:04am. It truly was a dream come true. This past December I completed the 6th mountain, Vinson Massif, in Antarctica. With one left, I will head to Australia for the final push.  With your help and support, the North Pole and South Pole will be 100% achievable!

Thank you for your support. Please like, share, and donate if you can. Every little bit counts! I can't do this without your support!

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