Meet Vanessa

Vanessa O’Brien is a British-American mountaineer, explorer, aquanaut, and author.  To the Greatest Heights is her debut memoir. Vanessa has five Guinness World Records, First, Fastest, Deepest, Farthest and Oldest. She is the First Woman to reach Earth’s Highest and Lowest Points, for summiting Mt. Everest and diving in a submersible to the deepest point in the ocean.

She became the first American woman and first British woman to summit K2 (as a result of her dual nationality), when she led a team of 12 to the summit and back on her third attempt, receiving Explorer of the Year from the Scientific Exploration Society (SES). Vanessa was the first woman to receive a Guinness World Record for climbing the highest peak on every continent (The Seven Summits) in just 295 days. She has also skied the last degree (111 km) to the North and South Poles, completing the Explorers Grand Slam in 11 months.  To date, Vanessa has summited five 8,000-meter peaks, including two back-to back.

Vanessa has contributed to scientific projects including researching the effects of hypoxic exposure on high-altitude mountaineering, taking glacier samples, mapping the bottom of the Mariana Trench, collecting water samples using Niskin bottles, and chronicling the impact of climate change at the equator. Vanessa has also run the Boston Marathon for charity, was shot testing bulletproof clothing at point blank range, and rode at 200 mph with Mario Andretti at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and an Honorary Advisory Board member of the SES. She has her MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University.

To learn more about Vanessa O’Brien, visit her official website below: