Have you ever wondered what is at the South Pole?
It actually is a pole!
And five years ago, if you told Boston College Club Member Vanessa O'Brien that she would be able to answer that question with authority, she probably wouldn't have believed you.
When the global recession hit in 2009, Vanessa was the managing director of a consulting financial service. Like many others, her career was suddenly faced with uncertainty and she decided to take a huge risk, but one that might surprise you.
She decided to climb Mount Everest.
When she first set her heart on this goal, Vanessa had never walked in a pair of crampons, worn a harness or even put on a helmet before, but on May 19, 2012 she was able to look down on the rest of us from the highest point on the planet after scaling the 29,035-foot summit of Mount Everest.
She even stopped to take a picture with the Boston College Club’s flag.
But, as every successful businessperson knows, after reaching your goal, the next step is to revise it!
So Vanessa did, making it her new goal to complete the illustrious Explorers Grand Slam, a challenge to reach the North Pole, the South Pole and the tallest summit on each of the seven continents.
However, as if this wasn't challenging enough, she also made it her goal to become the second person, and first woman, to complete this feat in a single calendar year.
For her recent journey to the South Pole, Vanessa was dropped by ski aircraft, traveling the last 60 nautical miles (111 km) to the most southerly point on Earth, which averages -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
On November 8, 2012, Vanessa gave a talk at the Boston College Club, allowing fellow Members and their guests to hear and ask questions about her amazing journey.
The last stop on her journey is the North Pole in April, which would put her down in record books forever.
We wish you the best of luck Vanessa!!
Vanessa O’Brien, a Member at ClubCorp's Boston College Club, summited Mount Everest in May. While perched atop the highest spot on Earth, she posed – in 40 to 50 mile-per-hour winds – with the club flag for a photo. O’Brien trained in the Boston College Club building and took the photo as a thank-you for all the support she had received.
O’Brien’s goal is to climb the Seven Summits – the highest mountains of each of the seven continents – and since conquering Mount Everest in May, she summited Mount McKinley last month.