Lisa Thompson has seen many summits in her lifetime. In 2016, she scaled Mount Everest, and two years later, she climbed K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth (which is so revered and feared by mountaineers it’s earned the moniker “Savage Mountain”).
In the year before her climb up Mount Everest, Thompson also attempted to climb Manaslu, a Himalayan Peak in Nepal. She ended up having to turn back before the top because of avalanche conditions, but the climb was still an impressive feat: Thompson had been diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after she began training for it—and she’d decided to scale the mountain anyway.
Thompson is clearly tenacious, and during our Zoom conversation, she says, “Like any trait, if you take it too far in one direction, it can be detrimental,” but she also says that it’s what helped see her through some difficult situations.
This quality is prevalent in her memoir Finding Elevation: Fear and Courage on the World’s Most Dangerous Mountain, in which she recounts her j