Local climber Ellen Miller hosts ‘An Evening on Everest’
VAIL – Vail local Ellen Miller was the first American woman to successfully summit Mount Everest from both the north and south sides. While Miller can lay claim to the one of the world’s greatest mountain ascents, next week she will be helping others achieve some impressive first descents. Today at 6:30 p.m. at the Vail Athletic Club, Miller will host “An Evening on Everest,” a slide show presentation about her experiences on the world’s highest mountain, with the proceeds going to First Descents, a Vail-based kayak camp for young adults with cancer.”These shows are a wonderful opportunity for me to share my experiences on Everest while helping a group of truly incredible young people,” said Miller, a long-time volunteer at the First Descents camps. “The passion that these young cancer survivors have is contagious and an inspiration for me to accomplish my goals in life.”In less than one year, Miller accomplished two of her goals, to summit Everest from two different routes. In doing so, Miller joins just three other female climbers in the world with the same distinction, two Sherpanis and one South African. Miller was the first American female climber to achieve the feat, doing it in less than 12 months.
Miller reached the summit via the South Col on May 16, 2002, exactly 352 days after her successful summit from the Northeast Ridge, on the Tibet side. On her second summit, Miller recalls that it was a beautiful day and her team climbed well together.”I got to the summit without much trouble, it was a great day and I really enjoyed myself,” said Miller. “Of course, I think it’s easier for me because after years of running, climbing and adventure racing, I’m comfortable being uncomfortable.”A long-time Vail local, Miller is a veteran of many marathons and adventure races, and she was a member of the champion Eco Challenge Team Vail. Working as a trainer and instructor at the Vail Athletic Club, Miller dedicates much of her life to training by running, climbing and exploring the mountains around Vail. Last fall, Miller was named the 2006 U.S. Women’s Mountain Running Team manager.Miller will share her passion for Everest and the mountains during her presentation at the Vail Athletic Club. She will take the audience on a journey through both Nepal and Tibet to the top of the world.First Descents is a Vail organization dedicated to improving the lives of young cancer patients. Founded by local professional kayaker Brad Ludden, First Descents is a week-long motivational camp in Vail that teaches goal-setting through the experience of learning to kayak.
To experience “An Evening on Everest,” call the Vail Athletic Club at 476-7960 and reserve a space. A suggested tax-deductible donation of $10 will be collected at the door.
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