Susan Ershler

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Susan Ershler
Susan Ershler.jpg
Nationality American
Education Washington State University
Known for First couple to have climbed the Seven Summits
Home town Kirkland, Washington
Spouse(s) Phil Ershler

Susan Ershler (born in March) is a public speaker, business executive, climber of Mount Everest, and author. Ershler and her husband, Phil, are the first couple to have climbed together the highest mountain on each continent, known as the "Seven Summits".[1] Completion of the Seven Summits endeavor came on May 16, 2002 when Ershler and her husband reached the summit of Mount Everest. Ershler is the 4th American Woman to climb the Seven Summits and the 12th American Woman to climb Mount Everest.

Early life

Born in Portland, Oregon, Ershler moved with her family to Seattle, Washington in 1971. She graduated from Washington State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. In 1980, after brief time as a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, Ershler gained her first corporate position in the telecommunications industry. In her 23-year corporate career, Ershler held a series of executive positions in sales divisions of Fortune 500 companies.

Business and adventure

In 1992, Ershler met her husband, Phil, a renowned international mountain guide who made the first American ascent of the North Face of Mount Everest. In the years that followed, the Ershlers climbed many mountains together. By the end of 1999 they had climbed six of the Seven Summits together: Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa; Mount Elbrus, Europe; Mount McKinley, North America; Aconcagua, South America; Vinson Massif, Antarctica and Mount Kosciuszko, Australia.

In 2001, the Ershlers attempted their seventh and highest summit, Mount Everest in Asia. After 63 days on the mountain, within 1,400 feet (430 m) of the summit, they turned around and descended. They returned for a second attempt one year later. On May 16, 2002, at 10:20 a.m. the Ershlers reached the summit of Mount Everest and became the first couple to have climbed the Seven Summits together.

Ershler then started Ershler International, a business in which she provides corporate and motivational speaking for domestic and international clients. Her speaking focuses mainly on how experience as a sales executive gave her a foundation for training to climb mountains.


In 2002, the Ershlers were featured guests on the Good Morning America show. They also appeared on CNN and CNN Headline News.

In 2007, Ershler co-authored Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits,[2] by Grand Central Publishing. They appeared on the Today Show to recount their adventure and promote the book.


  1. "Ershlers First Couple to Climb the Seven Summits". International Mountain Guides.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits". Barns&Noble.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


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