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Masha Gordon: From Wall Street to the World’s Highest Peaks.

If you believe your days of adventuring or taking on a new hobby are well & truly over, or that you need to be a pup to push yourself physically, today’s guest will hopefully make you reconsider!

Masha Gordon is a two-times Guinness World Record holding mountaineer, an activity she turned her attention to only 7 years ago. 7! In those few years she has become the fastest woman to scale the 7 Summits (the highest peak on each continent), plus, to complete, the Explorers Grand Slam – that’s the 7 Summits AND the North & South Pole. All the more fantastic, considering Masha was not an athletic child and she even failed PE at school.

Hear Masha describe the difficulties she’s had to overcome to enable her to achieve her ultimate goal of climbing Everest; how others questioning her dreams has never deterred her, the highs and lows of climbing some of the world’s tallest mountains, and why she’s helping teenage girls cultivate greater resilience through mountaineering.

Masha Gordon, plus many of the Off the Ropes podcast guests will be speaking at the fabulous Adventure Travel Show on 21st – 22nd of January at London’s Olympia. Listeners to the podcast can save 40% of the on the door price by quoting ‘offtheropes’ when booking online at We’re going to be there too, so come along for a weekend of inspirational talks; seminars on travel photography, travel writing, & adventure filming, & learn how to start planning your own adventure!

Topics Discussed:

  • Why Masha turned to mountaineering just seven years ago, despite not being a typical endurance athlete.
  • How her 16 years’ experience on Wall Street prepared her mentally for climbing mountains.
  • Why she likes returning from an adventure to a hectic schedule!
  • The significance of the Guinness World Records.
  • How Masha dealt with others questioning her ability to climb.
  • What the Poles taught her about the world.
  • Why lack of funds shouldn’t be prohibitive to pursuing adventures.
  • What drives Masha to keep conquering goals.
  • Her charitable endeavour Grit & Rock.
  • The consequences to society of the gender self-confidence gap.
  • The importance of developing hardiness in children.
  • The book which helped Masha overcome difficulties.
  • On being a female accomplished mountaineer.
  • Running out of food on Denali.
  • Unexpected events which thoroughly tested Masha & how she overcame them.
  • Passing the time when events take a turn!
  • Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!
  • Experiencing an avalanche – lessons learned.
  • Advice to those who lack the confidence to pursue an adventure.
  • The importance of failure and losing.

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Episode resources:

Masha Gordon’s website

Explorers Grand Slam

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf (Book recommendation by Masha)

National Indoor Climbing Awards Scheme

Piolet d’Or climbing awards

Clif Bars

Follow Masha Gordon on TwitterFacebook & Instagram

People Mentioned:

Colin O’Brady
Vanessa O’Brian
Wim Hof
Russian Geographical Society

Today’s Off the Ropes episode whetted your appetite for adventure? Have a listen to these:

Colin O’Brady – Record Breaking Mountaineer

James Ketchell – Ocean Rower, Everest Climber & Round the World Cyclist

Sean Conway – Extreme Ultra-Endurance Adventurer

Prefer your inspiration on the page? Have a read of our most recent posts:

The Curse of the Comfort Zone
What’s Missing in YOUR Life?
Adventure is the New Black!

If you enjoyed today’s show, you should subscribe to our bi-weekly non-spammy newsletter. Look out for Wise Words Wednesday (accessible not waffly advice on how to live optimally) & Friday’s notification of our latest podcast episode. Scroll to the bottom of this page and sign-up (we pinkie promise not to flog your email address to rogue overseas’ agents eager to sell you their counterfeit wares).

Can you support our quest to reach more ears worldwide and encourage as many people as possible to live off the ropes; a life lived optimally, despite obstacles and free from restraint? A simple share via the social media icons, or a review on iTunes would be very much appreciated.

Happy adventuring!

Victoria & Stu xx


  1. Sarah Peppers

    Truly amazing lady. It’s great the work she is doing to inspire teenage girls.

    1. Victoria Author

      Yes, sure is fabulous, Sarah. Thanks for listening. :)

  2. Charles Kix

    What an encouraging and modest lady, I think we could all benefit from challenging our comfort zones, the personal satisfaction is extremely uplifting.

    1. Victoria Author

      Have you booked on to that sky-diving course yet? :)

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