Wood, Sharon – 1996

Wood, Sharon – 1996

Sharon Wood

Canmore, Alberta

1996 Achievement Award


Reached the Summit of Mount Everest on May 20, 1986


Sharon Wood was the first North American woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, a feat she accomplished on May 20, 1986 at 9:00 p.m.  As a teenager, her intolerance of complacency and her appetite for adventure led her to learn rock climbing. Its physical and mental demands helped her discover new personal strengths.  Concepts such as commitment, adaptability and trust took on new meanings.


Sharon Wood has lived in the Canadian Rockies for over twenty years where she has worked as a mountain climbing and helicopter ski guide.  She climbed Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada, and has conquered numerous other summits exceeding 20,000 feet.  Sharon Wood has been to the top of the world and back.  Hers is a compelling story about beating the odds.  Recognizing that the challenges of Everest parallel those of most striving individuals and organizations, she shares with audiences the learning she most prizes from her mountain experiences - how to live and work every day closer to our true potential.


In recognition of the achievements of Sharon Wood, she was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by the University of Calgary; appointed to the Honour Roll of Outstanding Achievement by MacLean's magazine; and is the recipient of the inaugural Tenzing Norqay Award as "Professional Mountaineer of the Year", from the American Alpine Club and New York's Explorer's Club.  Sharon Wood is truly an exceptional Albertan.

Sharon Wood


Sharon was the sixth woman in history to reach the summit of Everest.  Her ascent was the first time someone had climbed a new route without the assistance of a Sherpa guide.