Guest: Kenton Cool, one of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers and avid adventurers. Kenton has completed the Seven Summits, which are the highest mountains on each of the seven traditional continents, including Mount Everest. Kenton also works with corporate clients on leadership and team performance.

In a Nutshell: Think climbing Everest sounds hard? My guest today has stood on “the roof of the world” 16 times (and counting). In our conversation, Kenton Cool discusses the mental, physical, and logistical challenges elite climbers have to prepare for and solve, and how to apply those same principles to the challenges we all face in our work and our lives.


.Kenton Cool and I discuss:

  • What a bad fall taught Kenton about peer pressure and the importance of “You’re in or you’re out.”
  • The thought process that goes into the “go, no-go” decision when Kenton is high on the mountain.
  • Kenton’s perspective on the infamous 1996 Everest disaster, which Jon Krakauer wrote about in his bestseller Into Thin Air.
  • Using binary thinking to take emotion out of high-stakes decision making.
  • Why Kenton insists on meeting the families of his prospective climbers.
  • The difference between “conquering” a mountain and respecting the journey.
  • A moving story about a climber dying in his arms and how his climbing partner, Dorje Gylgen Sherpa, helped him through it.
  • The mantra that Kenton leans on when he’s pushing himself to the limit.

While my mountain climbing adventures are minuscule compared to Kenton’s, I shared my experience in the mountains on the On Adventure Podcast with Josh Self.

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