My career path
"At the base camps, I’m at ease with everyone. But I’m reserved by nature ; I keep to myself and my emotions are always well under control. That’s no doubt what makes me so effective."
I’m an Alpine and Himalayan mountaineer, as well as a speaker. In 2017, I bagged seven 8,000-metre summits and spent 107 nights sleeping in a tent above 5,000 metres. In 2018, I did eight summits over 8,000 metres, including Everest and K2 – in the cold, the wind, the snow and the ice. I’ve had to endure the effects that a lack of oxygen can have on the body : headaches, vomiting, loss of appetite and weakness. The rough terrain and permanent discomfort are a real strain on your nerves and your mood. I’m hardy, but I do enjoy coming back to the comfort of my life here in Switzerland. At the base camps, I’m at ease with everyone. But I’m reserved by nature ; I keep to myself and my emotions are always well under control. That’s no doubt what makes me so effective : when I’m on an expedition, I’m focused on my goal and I don’t let anything steer me from it. When I talk in companies, I use my experiences to convey a positive message – tenacity, humility and teamwork are key to my approach. People say I’m credible, that they can identify with me.
My passion. That’s just it : it’s not work ; it’s a passion and something I love to share with people.
My career path. I can just about live from my passion, thanks to my sponsors, who give me financial support for my expeditions. It’s a long process, with meetings, decisions and risk-taking. The impact of the 2008 financial crisis meant we were forced to shut down our business in 2011 – that was a turning point for me. I was able to get support from the Futura21 Institute, my close friends and some initial sponsors who believed in me.
A downside or obstacle ? It’s hard to get the funding year after year. There aren’t many women who do what I do. But being a woman is not an obstacle – it can even be an advantage.
I’m proud of what I’ve done and the summits I’ve reached, and of promoting mountaineering in a simple yet dedicated way.