Ginette Harrison

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Ginette Harrison
Born (1958-02-28)28 February 1958
Died 24 October 1999(1999-10-24) (aged 41)
Dhaulagiri, Nepal
Occupation Physician
Known for Climbing high altitude mountains; First woman to summit Kangchenjunga

Ginette Harrison (28 February 1958 – 24 October 1999) was a professional climber of British origin. She also lived in Australia and the United States.

She studied medicine at the University of Bristol and later specialized in high altitude medicine.[1] At age 25 she climbed Denali, the highest mountain in North America. It was the first of her series of climbs of the highest peaks on all seven continents, which included Mount Everest on 7 October 1993, making her only the second British woman to climb Everest, after Rebecca Stephens.

On 1 December 1995 she became the third woman, and the first British woman, to climb all seven continental summits inclusive of Kosciuszko, the highest mountain in mainland Australia.[2] On the same date she also became the fifth woman, and the second British woman (behind Rebecca Stephens), to climb all seven continental summits inclusive of the Carstensz Pyramid in Australasia.

On 18 May 1998, she climbed Kangchenjunga by its north face, making her the first woman to have reached the summit of the world's third highest mountain. She later became the first British woman to summit Makalu on 22 May 1999.[3]

She was married to Gary Pfisterer, whom she met on her expedition to Mount Everest.[1]

She died under an avalanche when climbing Dhaulagiri, the seventh highest mountain in the world.[1]

A memorial lecture is held in Ginette's memory each year, part of the Wilderness Lectures series. The event raises money for the Charity, of which Ginette was an enthusiastic supporter, and which sponsors a school in Nepal, named in her honour.


  1. ^ a b c "Ginette Harrison, 41, A Mountain Climber". The New York Times. 29 October 1999. Retrieved 16 February 2009. 
  2. ^ Seven Summits website
  3. ^ "Ginette Harrison". Retrieved 16 February 2009.