Mountaineering is the by-product of a passion for the outdoors instilled in Heather Geluk by her rural roots, combined with an inherent sense of ‘wanderlust’. Being outside in the fresh air, and surrounded by soaring mountain faces – be they Himalayan peaks, the Rockies, the Andes or the Alps – is where she finds herself filled with an overwhelming sense of awe and inspiration.
Achievements beyond her day job have included climbing on some of the highest mountains in the world including Everest, Lhotse (3rd Canadian woman to reach the summit), Makalu, and Shishapangma (Nepal / Tibet), Aconcagua (Argentina), Alpamayo (Peru), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Damavand (Iran) and skiing and climbing extensively in the Himalayas and the Alps. Not limited to adventures closer to sea level, Heather has also cycled over 7500kms from west to east across Canada, across Tanzania, and has dragon boat raced down the Thames River in London (UK), and white water rafted extensively throughout Nepal.
Through her high-altitude adventures Heather has raised over $350,000 for charity. Causes closest to her heart include Wellbeing of Women, a health charity dedicated to improving the health of women, mothers and babies through research, training and education. She also supports the Paldorje Education Foundation which sponsors Nepalese children through elementary and high school and college undergraduate programs.
During her recent record-breaking expedition to become the first woman in 23 years and second woman ever to climb Shishapangma and Cho Oyu, two 8,000m (26 500 ft) peaks in one season in the Nepal Himalaya, Heather was caught in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April, 2015. Fortunate to have survived, Heather stayed on in Nepal and through the Paldorje Foundation provided humanitarian assistance through raising funds and awareness and delivering food, shelter and financial relief to those thousands of men, women and children impacted by the earthquake. She will return to Nepal this Autumn to lead the rebuilding of a school in Dalchoki and will again return to Nepal in the Spring of 2016 to continue her record-breaking Shishapangma and Cho Oyu expedition.