Most of the people I deeply admire on this planet have an attitude of gratitude.
There she was, an LA girl who just as easily rocks the high heels, approaching the summit of Everest. And she had to turn back due to hypoxia (lack of sufficient oxygen) –a common effect of high altitude climbing.
But she didn’t know that, yet. She just felt completely exhausted. “It was a really tough choice. There you are, your hopes and dreams riding on making the summit after so much preparation.”
Fifteen people passed her while she lay on the side of the trail. Only one person asked if she was alright. It’s kind of an unspoken rule on Everest that you’re on your own. It’s nearly impossible to help someone else who is injured or exhausted at that altitude. She turned back and went down to base camp - a choice she's grateful for as it saved her life and gave her another chance to come back and summit Everest two years later.
Georgina Miranda grew up in Los Angeles – the daughter of immigrants from Central America. “It wasn’t exactly the most adventurous household,” she quips. “After I fell off my bike at age five, that was about it for my adventures.” Georgina excelled in school, and liked the idea of playing sports, but just didn’t really find something that fit.
And then everything changed in 2007 when she read an article in Glamour Magazine, of all places.
“I read this article by Eve Ensler, the author of the Vagina Monologues, about the treatment of girls and women in Democratic Republic of Congo, and I just wanted to do something about it.” So she walked into the headquarters of the International Medical Corps in Santa Monica and basically said “I want to raise money to help address this issue, and I’m going to do it by climbing the highest peak on each continent.”
At the end of that meeting, she was almost out the door when the executive at IMC thought to ask “how many peaks have you climbed before?” Of course, the answer was “none.” She hadn’t even actually run a mile before. Georgina had just started a rock climbing class at an indoor gym in LA.
Georgina went on to finish Everest after a second attempt, and to date has now climbed six of the seven summits. The last one in her sights? Mt. Vinson In Antarctica. And if that wasn’t enough, Georgina has funded all of the trips herself, raising money for IMC in the process.
Simultaneously, Georgina has pursued a career as a business consultant, navigating her way through the ranks of a male-dominated business world. Now, with a decade of solid business experience, she’s applying her grit for climbing to make a go of it as an entrepreneur in the outdoor industry with a one-stop- shop for inspiring women to get outdoors and seek adventure.
As the founder of Altitude Seven, you might say Georgina is back at base camp. But who else would start a media company in the midst of one of the most challenging environments for starting a media company?
As you approach a new year, clean slate, and life full of opportunity, what inspires you to go for it? What’s your Everest?
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Be adventurous, be nutty, be good!