Alison Levine’s DevLearn keynote

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Mt. Mckinley, her favorite mountain
Doing more with less, getting job done with the resources you have on hand
Karsten’s pyramid, most challenging
climbed while there was a separatist conflict in the region
Couldn’t get in, so was escorted by the Indonesian army
Ask the right questions, it’s always easier for someone to say no than to help you find a solution
Keep asking questions until you get to yes
Antarctica
American Women’s Everest Expedition
Turned down the captaincy role because of the feeling of inadequacy
After 9/11, realized not to let fear keep you from what you want to do
It’s not just about technique and ability, it’s about willpower
No money, got sponsorship from Ford, funding entire trip because it coincided with launch of the Ford Expedition
Didn’t want to be sponsored by the Chevy Avalanche (ha)
Doesn’t do you any good to be on Everest with the best climbers if they don’t care about the team
Skill, experience & team players
Breaking down the expedition into smaller parts – Get to basecamp, base 2, etc
If you have a stretch goal, break it down
You don’t just go from camp to camp, lots of other logistics
Basecamp > 1 > Basecamp > 1 > 2 > Basecamp > 1 > 2 > 3 > Basecamp
To allow body to acclimatize
Psychologically draining to climb back down every time, even if you’re going backwards you’re still making progress
Progress doesn’t happen in one direction
Nothing like “Vertical Limit”
Kuumu Ice Fall, ice chunks in constant motion that makes it dangerous + crevasses
Climbing across crevasses in ladders
Fear is OK, complacency is what will kill you
Can’t afford to sit around and not react
How do you go to the bathroom on Everest? Pee funnel (!)
Build relationships so when things go bad, the people around you help out
Being strategic with other teams you need to call on for help
People who struggle on Everest, while other teams walk right past (because they don’t want to lose their summit bid)
Relationships with other teams increase liklihood they will help
Peter Ragat who was climbing ahead of them, slipped and fell
No matter how good you are and how prepared you are, things can still go wrong
Tragedy can blow up or bring your team together
Mitigate risks by learning from those who paved the way; not just successes but missteps
When you have a responsibility to a team, put a smile on your face and do your job
Can never expect those around you to endure something you won’t endure
The mountain is always changing and you have zero control
The storms are always temporary
The key to surviving them is you have to take action based on the situation and not the plan
Focus on executing based on the situation at the time
At 26K feet, the “death zone” the human body can no longer survive
5-10 breaths for every step, slow travel
Forgot about the summit and just focused on a rock in front of her
Oxygen tank malfunctioned at the summit, concerned she had cerebral adema
If you’re thinking you have cerebral adema – you don’t!
Rescues at that elevation is near impossible
A storm cloud started to come in, used proper judgment to turn back down
Very tough decisions when conditions are not perfect
Every move you make affects others around you
If it’s not right, cut your losses and walk away; one person’s poor judgment can take down an entire team
Got caught in white out on the way down
You only have enough supplies to take one shot at the summit
Going back down the mountain there was still risk
Even when things feel easy and calm there is still risk, climb isn’t over until you get home
8th time through Kuumu Ice Fall (7 previous times were OK), there was a a big ice fall
Other guy from NG saw them from above and told them to stay still, ice stopped 5 ft from them
After article came out it read “I told them to stay calm becuase I knew we were going to die.”
Meg Owen – soccer player who had to quit because of reduced lung function
Became a cyclist, going San Diego to Washington with Lance Armstrong
Passed away from flu due to lung
Her name engraved on her ice ax on her second time up Everest
Found herself in the same situation, decided to climb a little of the way despite bad weather
Finally summitted, “wasn’t that big of a deal”
Completed “Adventure Grand Slam” one of a dozen people who did it
It’s not about standing at the summit, but about the lessons you learn on the way and what you’re going to do with those lessons
The failed experience helped her know her risk and pain tolerance
Lack of failure tolerance keeps us from doing our best
The photo is a lie, no one gets to the summit alone
There will always be more mountains to climb, tomorrow you have to be even better

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Posted on November 1, 2012, in Life and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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