Cathy O’Dowd

Adventurer, author & acclaimed Motivational  and Inspirational speaker


The response … has been overwhelmingly positive…. the audience found your story thoroughly compelling and the way in which you weaved in our messages was superb. I can only express my sincere thanks on behalf of everyone here for helping to really bring the session to life.
Consumer Marketing Manager, Allergan Medical, TENERIFE
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Cathy O’Dowd is the first woman to climb Everest from both south and north sides. She has stood on the slopes of the world’s highest mountain four times, reaching its summit twice.

She has been on the mountain as the last minute ‘token woman’ team-member, and as an expedition leader. She has worked in partnership with a wide range of international teams forced to co-operate on popular routes, and has climbed on a team attempting a new route, the only expedition on the entire east face. She has faced the ‘worst storm in the history of Everest’ and the giant avalanches of the Kangshung face, and she has faced warring team members as ego ran rampant. She has experienced both the thrill of the summit and the reality of failure, and has paid the ultimate price with the loss of fellow climbers.

Cathy O’Dowd’s presentations combine adventure, drama, failure and success, sharing with you lessons learnt from one of the world’s most spectacular challenges:

Cathy weaves together the literal adventure of the climb and the metaphorical challenge of reaching for the peak of achievement, sharing her stories of challenge, adventure, passion for life and the reality of death. Her inspirational keynotes focus on self-motivation, risk-assessment, team dynamics, leadership, and tackling seemingly overwhelming challenges.

Cathy draws on this wide-ranging experience of teams under acute pressure attempting overwhelming challenges to create her corporate presentations. Her stories touch on themes of importance to anyone trying to get the best out of people.

Key topics

One team, one aim
Passion for the process
Courage to make your own choices
Determination in the face of disaster
Fully integrate all talent within the team
Motivation through recognition