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  • Writer's pictureKen Lubin

Episode #56- Caroline Gleich/Rob Lea- Everest Expedition- Climb for Equality

Updated: Jul 15, 2020

In April 2019, Caroline Gleich and Rob Lea will climb Mt. Everest as a “Climb For Equality,” to highlight the role that men and people of all genders can play in supporting women’s leadership, in the mountains and beyond. Despite gains for women in other areas of society, only 10% of climbers on 8000m are women. As of June 2017, only 536 women have climbed Mt. Everest. It’s not enough to have women showing up. We need more women at the top. The Climb for Equality is a social awareness campaign where Rob and Caroline will aim to get 100 mountaineers of all genders to do a social media post about how they will support women’s leadership and combat bias. The campaign will provide a tool kit of ways to interrupt bias. 10% of funds raised will go towards organizations that support women’s leadership.

Caroline Gleich

It’s been Caroline’s lifelong dream to take skis to the Himalayas. She never thought she would be drawn to Everest until she was on the drive to Cho Oyu in September 2018 and saw Everest for the first time. Her first thought was, “I want to ski that.” Caroline plans to ski from 7500m down the North Ridge and North Col. It will be a highlight in her skiing career after skiing in big mountain ranges around the world including the Cordillera Blanca, French and Swiss Alps, Canadian Rockies and others. As a professional ski mountaineer and environmental activist, Caroline has seen gender inequality among the world’s tallest peaks and in the halls of Congress. With strong support from her partner, Rob, they realized that advocating for gender equality isn’t only a woman’s job, and through this project, aim to bring strong male allies and people of all genders into the conversation.

Rob Lea

As a World Champion Half Ironman, Rob is no stranger to physically exhausting, challenging, and long days. The list of triathlons Rob has completed is exhaustive and his love of the sport has given him a new objective: the Ultimate World Triathlon. As part of the Ultimate World Tri, Rob will climb Mt. Everest, swim the English Channel, and cycle across America. More than the physical challenge, Rob will also raise awareness for gender inequality in the mountains and the boardroom, based on the He for She initiative by the United Nations. Rob’s mountaineering career includes climbs of mountains around the world including Aconcagua, Denali, and most recently, Cho Oyo. He is also planning on doing what is called the Ultimate world triathlon, which includes Climbing Everest, Swimming the English Channel, and ride his bike across America, all within 6 months.

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