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|Education||Washington State University|
|Known for||First couple to have climbed the Seven Summits|
|Home town||Kirkland, Washington|
Susan Ershler (born March 1957) is a public speaker, business executive, climber of Mount Everest, and author. Ershler and her husband, Phil, are the first couple to have climbed together the highest mountain on each continent, known as the "Seven Summits". Completion of the Seven Summits endeavor came on May 16, 2002 when Ershler and her husband reached the summit of Mount Everest. Ershler is the 4th American Woman to climb the Seven Summits and the 12th American Woman to climb Mount Everest.
Born in Portland, Oregon, Ershler moved with her family to Seattle, Washington in 1971. She graduated from Washington State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. In 1980, after brief time as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, Ershler gained her first corporate position in the telecommunications industry. In her 23-year corporate career, Ershler held a series of executive positions in sales divisions of Fortune 500 companies.
Business and adventure
In 1992, Ershler met her husband, Phil, a renowned international mountain guide who made the first American ascent of the North Face of Mount Everest. In the years that followed, the Ershlers climbed many mountains together. By the end of 1999 they had climbed six of the Seven Summits together: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa; Mount Elbrus, Europe; Mount McKinley, North America; Aconcagua, South America; Vinson Massif, Antarctica and Mount Kosciuszko, Australia.
In 2001, the Ershlers attempted their seventh and highest summit, Mount Everest in Asia. After 63 days on the mountain, within 1,400 feet (430 m) of the summit, they turned around and descended. They returned for a second attempt one year later. On May 16, 2002, at 10:20 a.m. the Ershlers reached the summit of Mount Everest and became the first couple to have climbed the Seven Summits together.
Ershler then started Ershler International, a business in which she provides corporate and motivational speaking for domestic and international clients. Her speaking focuses mainly on how experience as a sales executive gave her a foundation for training to climb mountains.
In 2002, the Ershlers were featured guests on the Good Morning America television show. They also appeared on CNN and CNN Headline News.
In 2007, Ershler co-authored Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits, by Grand Central Publishing. They appeared on the Today Show to recount their adventure and promote the book.
- "Ershlers First Couple to Climb the Seven Summits". International Mountain Guides.
- "Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits". Barns&Noble.
- "The Joy & Tragedy of Climbing, Tom Ashbrook interviews Susan and Phil Ershler". NPR OnPoint radio. December 21, 2006.
- Good Morning America — Diane Sawyer interviews with Ershlers, "That's the seven highest peaks on the seven continents and they saved Mt. Everest for last. Joining us from Seattle are Sue and Phil Ershler."
- CNN American Stories — Ershler Everest story highlighted
- USA Today — "Record-setting day on Mount Everest" — by Don Cronin
- Seattle P.I. — "Couple climb into the history books" — by Kristin Dixon
- "Seven Summit Stats and Facts". EverestNews.com.
- "Media Overview of Ershler's Expeditions".
- "Call of the mountain is paramount to many climbers". The News Tribune.
- Official web site, SusanEarshler.com
- Ershler, Susan; Waechter, John. Conquering the Seven Summits of Sales: From Everest to Every Business, Achieving Peak Performance. Amazon: HarperCollins. p. 208. ISBN 0062282646.
- Ershler, Susan; Ershler, Phil. Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits. Grand Central Publishing. p. 320. ISBN 0446570915.