Originally from Kansas, the last semester living in Reno and the surrounding areas has provided me with a few more opportunities for hiking and mountain climbing. Last weekend, my roommate guided a group of us up Mt.Tallac, just southwest of Lake Tahoe, which at the summit reaches 9,739 ft. This mountain got its name after the Washo word “daláʔak”, meaning ‘big mountain’. The hike, rated “difficult to intermediate,” has an elevation gain of  3,250 feet (990 m).

Completing the hike gave me the smallest idea of what Edurne Pasaban has accomplished. Edurne Pasaban is the first (Basque) woman to complete the ascent of the 14 eight-thousanders on Earth. In addition, she has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Basque Country, a Masters in Human Resources Management from ESADE Business School and is Associate Professor at the Instituto de Empresa.


Foto courtesy of Irekia, Basque Government Delegate Ander Caballero and mountaineer Edurne Pasaban, at the Delegation of the Basque Government in the US.

On May 5, Basque mountaineer Edurne Pasaban presented her book “Tilting at Mountains” at the Delegation of the Basque Government in the US, headquartered in New York City.

“Tilting at Mountains” tells a love story of the mountains, and how in all love stories there is passion, happiness, and joy, but also suffering, loss, disappointment, and defeat. It is a deeply personal and human book, in which Pasaban tells of her experience, her life in the mountains, and her own analysis of that which this brutal adventure has brought her. It is a story from which the reader can take values that, in the end, are perfectly applicable to any adventure in life: effort, sacrifice, preparation, perseverance, and concentration.  Click here for the full article in Spanish.


Kerri Lesh on top of Mt. Tallac, view facing west of Lake Tahoe

While I may never come close to the physical achievements of Edurne Pasaban, I find her story relatable not only as a woman, but as a person who is driven by a constant thirst for new and exciting experiences. She is an inspiration for anyone in achieving goals to be a better person by continually persuing the unknown – a great role model for anyone looking for a renewed sense of inspiration.