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Canada's greatest explorers 2015

Sharon Wood

Photo credit: Mikael Kjellström, reused

Peak performer

Expertise: Adventure, Climbing

By Carys Mills

Sharon Wood was 12 when her dad took her up her first mountain. “I learned pretty early that the outdoors and the mountains were home for me, where I felt most comfortable,” she says. Soon after, she dedicated herself to climbing, ultimately preparing herself to reach the top of the world in 1986. Wood, climbing with fellow Canadian mountaineer Dwayne Congdon, became the first North American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, and the first known woman to have done so by a new route (along the west ridge) and without the assistance of a Sherpa. “Everest was my biggest accomplishment in terms of psychological challenge,” says Wood, now based in Canmore, Alta. “It required tremendous psychological endurance to keep going.”


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