About Cathy O'Dowd

Climber, author and motivational speaker. 1st woman in the world to climb Everest from both sides. Lover of all things mountain! Follow my adventures on Instagram @CathyODowd.

‘What are you doing next?’

2020-05-23T20:36:46+02:00

“What are you doing next?” I hate that question. I know why you ask. I’ve asked it myself, talking to climbers or adventurers I admire, and winced inwardly as I [...]

‘What are you doing next?’2020-05-23T20:36:46+02:00

Not all adventurers are born equal

2020-04-30T20:07:13+02:00

There is a fashion right now for blog posts telling you that your dream/adventure/expedition is totally possible. Just Do It! Throw your fears to the wind! Believe in yourself! Stop [...]

Not all adventurers are born equal2020-04-30T20:07:13+02:00

30 years & counting

2020-04-27T21:15:44+02:00

We had reached the short section of fixed rope below the Lower Saddle in the Grand Tetons when the youngster caught up with us. He had a huge rucksack and [...]

30 years & counting2020-04-27T21:15:44+02:00

From Kilimanjaro to Everest

2020-05-23T16:35:19+02:00

Key moments in the journey of life. Looking back at the course of a lifetime, there are certain moments where, if you’d made a different choice, you’d be living [...]

From Kilimanjaro to Everest2020-05-23T16:35:19+02:00

The Art and Joy of Serendipity

2020-05-18T18:09:50+02:00

Why the power of serendipity means you should focus on gaining skills and experiences, rather than achieving goals. Mountain climbing would seem to be the ultimate goal-driven activity, everything resting on [...]

The Art and Joy of Serendipity2020-05-18T18:09:50+02:00

What is holding you back?

2020-04-30T23:55:46+02:00

When to stop focusing forward and instead look at what is holding you back. With snow still sadly sparse in the Pyrenees, I found myself out rock climbing with friends on [...]

What is holding you back?2020-04-30T23:55:46+02:00

Risks too big to comprehend

2020-04-28T13:26:16+02:00

“No climber ever expects to be in this position. When I was planning Lhotse, the word “earthquake” never entered my mind.” From Alan Arnette’s blog. [...]

Risks too big to comprehend2020-04-28T13:26:16+02:00

Why to make it up as you go along

2020-05-19T16:12:09+02:00

The difference between ‘fluid decision-making’ and ‘making it up as you go along’ can be hard to detect. I’ve just returned home after a nine-day ski-tour in the Ecrins, a [...]

Why to make it up as you go along2020-05-19T16:12:09+02:00

The art of serendipity and skiing

2020-05-19T16:12:26+02:00

While I am very much a believer in planning and preparation, the fact remains that the adventures I enjoy most are often the ones that unfold spontaneously. I've just returned [...]

The art of serendipity and skiing2020-05-19T16:12:26+02:00

Bolivian Andes Corderilla Real

2020-05-17T16:40:46+02:00

In June 1991 I joined the Mountain Club of South Africa's Centenary Expedition to the Corderilla Real in Bolivia. There I climbed with Stephen Kelsey and Graham Wittaker, both [...]

Bolivian Andes Corderilla Real2020-05-17T16:40:46+02:00

En route to Everest via Aconcagua

2020-05-17T15:54:06+02:00

In February 1998 I attempted Aconcagua by the standard route but turned back at Berlin camp to help less experienced team members descend in bad weather. In January 2000 [...]

En route to Everest via Aconcagua2020-05-17T15:54:06+02:00

The Attraction of Climbing

2020-05-01T00:03:18+02:00

This article describes an ascent of the Angus-Leppan route on the Sentinel, one of the classic multi-pitch rock climbs in the Drakensberg. It was first published in Southern Rock #2 [...]

The Attraction of Climbing2020-05-01T00:03:18+02:00

The Great Storm of 1996

2020-05-23T16:36:49+02:00

The most famous storm in the history of Everest. Four teams sitting on the South Col, wondering whether to go for the summit in the morning, despite the marginal weather. [...]

The Great Storm of 19962020-05-23T16:36:49+02:00

Why take the risk?

2020-04-28T10:07:20+02:00

In January of 1992 I was sharing a flat in London with Stephen Kelsey, Graham Wittaker and his girlfriend Carolyn. On the wall of our room I found a [...]

Why take the risk?2020-04-28T10:07:20+02:00

My first time to the top of the world

2020-05-23T16:37:16+02:00

Wits University in Johannesburg was where I did my undergraduate degree and their Mountain Club was where I began climbing. This article  was written for the Wits Mountain Club [...]

My first time to the top of the world2020-05-23T16:37:16+02:00