230: Kim Hess Podcast

January 7, 2022

In today’s episode of ‘Finding your Summit’ podcast, host Mark Pattison, former NFL Player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits, talks with guest, Kim Hess — Mountaineer and Motivator. Kim shares about her Everest journey and what inspired her to do Seven Summits.

Episode Highlights

  • 02:15 – Mark asks Kim about the Grand Slam course and what she is trying to accomplish.
  • 04:16 – One can go see the penguin colony in Antarctica and then can go see—or go ski—up to the South Pole, shares Mark.
  • 06:00 – Mark inquires, “Where did that start to climb the Seven Summits?”
  • 07:00 – Kim recalls how during college, the Discovery Channel came out with Everest Beyond the Limit, and she remembers watching and hearing it.
  • 09:26 – Mark asks Kim how she managed to pull that off as mountaineering is not free—especially when you go to Mount Everest or Antarctica.
  • 11:24 – The first trip was sponsored by Kim’s brother and then she paid for part of Kilimanjaro. She had to think out of the box as the trips got more expensive.
  • 13:10 – Kim mentions, the biggest lessons she has learned in life are sort of how to sell ourselves and find our worth.
  • 15:21 – Where did that fall happen? —the host inquires.
  • 17:54 – Kim reveals how she broke her foot five days before the Denali trip at a wedding, and nobody knew that except her brother.
  • 18:47 – The next thing Kim knew was that the snow broke away and she fell like four or five feet. Her arm was stuck in the fixed-line, and it just snapped everything in her left wrist.
  • 20:44 – Mark asks if they fly a helicopter up there and fly up the top of the end at that point.
  • 22:59 – Kim shares that she was a liability to the team, so she couldn’t climb down.
  • 24:48 – Mark asks Kim about her intense experience of Mount Everest and how it all played out for her.
  • 26:00 – Kim states: she had just rolled into camp, it was around like 11 am, she was in her tent changing, and all of a sudden the earth started shaking.
  • 27:52 – It took us probably 10 minutes to realize it was an earthquake.
  • 30:27 – Mark inquires: “What organization did you use in 2016?”
  • 32:44 – South Summit is so close to the Summit. One can see it, but it can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 3 hours for people to traverse this tiny section.
  • 33:09 – Kim says, when she got to the south summit, it was sort of a celebration.
  • 37:31 – There’s just so much that plays into these expeditions that a lot of people don’t know about, states Kim.
  • 39:04 – When we’re suffering on the side of a mountain, we come back to “why are we here”? Why we’re doing this—and we better have a good reason or we’ll never succeed, says Kim.

Three Key Points

  1. Kim shares: her brother Steven and she were drinking at their parents’ house for Christmas and he sort of drunkenly challenged them to do the Seven Summits and she was just broken up and naive enough to say yes, so the next day they woke up and started planning it.
  2. Kim highlights: the first peak they chose was Aconcagua in South America for a lot of reasons. One, it’s the tallest mountain outside of the Himalayas for the Seven Summits and second, it’s relatively inexpensive.
  3. Everest is such a special place and we put our life on hold to go climb that peak to be there. Kim has overcome all of the adversity to get there—the financial aspect of it was always the reason she thought she would fail, and so just to be there was so special.

Tweetable Quotes

Grand Slam is climbing the Seven Summits and the Seven Summits is the tall speaker at each continent outside of that and then you have to see to the North Pole and the South Pole. ” – Kim Hess

You don’t hear words; you don’t hear anything outside of the wind and your feet crunching on the snow. It’s a wild place.” – Kim Hess

When we start talking about this, about the Seven Summits, it’s one thing to drain; it’s another thing to execute.” – Mark Pattison

I’m the youngest of four. I have three older brothers, so we are all this brother challenges you to do something you’re going to do it, right? There’s no option to not sort of seeing that through.” – Kim Hess

Fortunately for me, my brother’s a lot older and was very successful in his career.” – Kim Hess

And five days before the trip, I was at a wedding and I slipped on the dance floor and I broke my foot.” – Kim Hess

I sent my X-ray to about 10 different orthopedic surgeons and nine of them said you need surgery, like now, and you’re not climbing a mountain.” – Kim Hess

I was just hanging on for dear life and I couldn’t see anybody outside of our assistant guy.” – Kim Hess

I don’t know what was more terrifying—the fact that the ground was shaking or seeing fear in your guide’s eyes, right?“– Kim Hess

I got to the south summit and the sun was about to come up, and I just remember sitting there, and I started crying, and I was like—I did it.” – Kim Hess

And for me from the south summit to the summit was like a glorious 25 minutes.” – Kim Hess

When I finished the Seven Summits, I financially was in massive debt.” – Kim Hess

I think this is where a lot of people get lost sometimes—is they set a goal and they give up and they don’t see it through—and that successfully took me nine years to complete.” – Mark Pattison


Resources Mentioned

Kim Hess: Website

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