Alan Arnette Interview: Lei Wang Goes For Adventure Grand Slam

Speaking of the Seven Summits, our friend Alan Arnette has another good interview posted this week. This time Alan speaks with Chinese climber Lei Wang, who is closing in on the Adventure Grand Slam, which consists of reaching the top of the Seven Summits and skiing to both the North and South Pole. In Lei’s case, she has just Everest left to conquer, which she hopes to do this spring.

Like many who have completed the Seven Summits, Lei’s love of mountaineering began when she reached the summit of Kilimanjaro, the tallest mountain in Africa at 19,340 feet. That climb opened a sense of adventure in the young woman, and her desire to climb the remaining Summits was fueled further when she learned that no Chinese woman had accomplished the feat. Since then, she has stood atop Elbrus, Denali, Aconcagua, Carstensz Pyramid, and Vinson. Along the way, she also managed to go to the top and bottom of the world, on skis to both Poles.

In the interview, Lei talks briefly about her childhood in China, how things changed when she came to the U.S. to pursue an MBA, her first trip to the mountains, and a whole lot more. She touches on her training methods (puling those darn tires!), her mental preparation, and what it’s going to be like to tell her parents she’s going to Everest. As of the interview, she still hasn’t broken it to them. *gulp*

If she is successful in reaching the summit of Everest, Lei will become just the tenth person to complete the Adventure Grand Slam, putting her in very elite company with the likes of Max Chaya, Cecilie Skog, and Park Young Seok, who has also climbed each of the 8000 meter peaks as well. Pretty impressive accomplishment, and it should be fun to see if she is successful this spring.

Kraig Becker

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