Rebecca Stephens (climber)

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Rebecca Stephens
Born3 October 1961
Known for

Rebecca Stephens MBE (born 3 October 1961) is a British author, journalist, and motivational speaker, known for being the first British Woman to climb the Seven Summits and as the first British woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.[1][2][3] She is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a professor at Hult International Business School's Ashridge Executive Education program.


Stephens originally trained as a journalist and pursued that career for some ten years, becoming deputy editor of the Financial Times magazine Resident Abroad.In 1989 Stephens accompanied an expedition attempting the North East Ridge of Mount Everest. Exploring the question "why do climbers climb?", she climbed to the first camp at 7,100m and made a decision she wanted to climb the mountain herself. In 1993 she returned to Everest on a British expedition and reached the summit on 17 May, becoming the first British woman to do so.[4] On 22 November 1994 she became the third woman, and the first British woman, to climb the seven continental summits of the Messner list.[1]

She was a presenter on BBC television's science series Tomorrow's World from 1994 to 1996.[5]

In addition to her mountaineering exploits, Stephens has sailed the Southern Seas to the South Magnetic Pole and Antarctica and crossed the South Atlantic island of South Georgia. With the polar explorers Ranulph Fiennes and Mike Stroud, she competed in an eight-day Eco-Challenge, which consisted of running, biking and canoeing across the Canadian Rockies.[6]

Additional affiliations and memberships[edit]

Stephens is a visiting fellow at Ashridge Business School, fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, member of The Alpine Club and a trustee of the Himalayan Trust UK.

Awards and recognitions[edit]

Stephens was appointed an MBE in 1994.[7]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Rebecca Stephens, Due South (London: Wigwam, 2009)
  • Rebecca Stephens & Robert Heller, The Seven Summits of Success (London: Capstone, 2005)
  • Rebecca Stephens, Everest (London: Dorling Kindersley, 2001)
  • Rebecca Stephens, On Top of the World (London: Macmillan, 1994)


  1. ^ a b 7summits. "The seven summits, the highest peaks of the 7 continents: Everest, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Elbrus, Vinson, Carstensz! Trips, Statistics & information!". Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  2. ^ Stephens, Rebecca (15 May 2005). "Exploration is about personal firsts". the Guardian. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  3. ^ Countryside Correspondent, Jerome Starkey (18 June 2018). "Mountaineers' first woman leader at the summit after bitter struggle". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 20 August 2019.
  4. ^ Conefrey, Mick (24 May 2013). "Everest at 60: the Brits who got there first". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  5. ^ "Rebecca Stephens". BFI.
  6. ^ Biography page of
  7. ^ "The Gazette". The Gazette. 30 December 1993. Retrieved 4 July 2018.

External links[edit]