The Smithers and District Chamber of Commerce hosted an inspirational Breakfast of Champions last week.
Alan Mallory, a man who climbed Mount Everest with his family, spoke to around fifty people at the event.
In 2008, the Mallory family took on the challenge and became the first family of four to set foot on the summit of the world’s highest peak. He spoke about the difficulties and the hard work it took to complete the two month long journey. Everyone in the family got some sort of altitude sickness, they almost lost two, had to climb through a blizzard in the middle of the night and had to cross ladders spanning bottomless crevasses.
His sister, Laura, became the youngest Canadian female to climb Everest at the age of 22.
Mallory hopes his story inspires people.
“Anything that you put your mind to, you can accomplish,” he said.
“Also the family aspect, in today’s society family isn’t as important as it has been years ago. A lot of people ask me how we survived over a long period of time, they say ‘our family can’t even get through dinner.’ Family is important and I hope people take that away from our story.”
Only 29 per cent of climbers that attempt the summit actually make it. Mallory said that doing it with his family helped.
“On Everest the level of available oxygen is so low that we were running on a third mental capacity and expedition members need to work as one collaborative unit in order to be successful.”
Mallory is now back in Ontario with his wife after living in Chile and Arizona for the past couple of years. He is an engineer, professional development trainer and keynote speaker. Mallory has also written a book about his Everest experience.
It comes out at the end of the month.
“We wanted to bring in someone that uses a life experience to inspire us to reach higher heights and I think going to the top of Everest would be inspiring that way. We learned from Mallory how many challenges it took to do it,” said Chamber of Commerce manager Heather Gallagher.
“Everyone was mesmerized during the hour-long speech and in awe.”
Coast Mountain GM sent a couple of their employees to the event.
“I have a fairly young staff and they are all going to be employees that I think I am going to be able to hang on to for a while. Part of it was a reward and the other part was to help them improve themselves and their life skills, which in turn, hopefully improves their work skills. They really enjoyed it,” said manager Scott Groves.