Ego vs Honesty: My Everest Story | Adrian Ballinger | TEDxSouthLakeTahoe by TEDx Talks   1 year ago

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After eight years guiding on Mt. Everest, and six summits of the world’s tallest peak, high altitude guide and professional climber Adrian Ballinger returned to attempt his childhood dream - a summit of Mt. Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen. His attempts, in 2016 and 2017, required much more than fitness and experience. Success (and even coming down alive) required a battle with his ego, and a re-thinking of where honesty fits in the stories we tell others and ourselves. Adrian Ballinger is a world class mountaineer, skier, and business leader. As founder and head guide of the internationally acclaimed Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian envisioned a more holistic climbing experience for his clients than the status quo.

This vision, with a focus on small groups and client education, continues to change the way big mountains are climbed. What started in 2004 with three trips on one continent with one lead guide has grown into a thriving company running 30 trips annually on 5 continents with six lead guides. In 10 years, Alpenglow has helped more than 100 clients successfully summit Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in the world), Manaslu (8th tallest), and Cho Oyu (6th tallest).

As a professional athlete first and foremost, Adrian is the only American who has skied two 8,000 meter peaks, was the first person to ski Manaslu, the 8th tallest mountain in the world, and in 2011 became the first person to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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