Cathy O’Dowd

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Everest Expeditions:
– In 1996, eight climbers died in a severe blizzard during the First South African Everest Expedition.
– Climbers Scott Fischer and Rob Hall were among the fatalities.
– Cathy O’Dowd was part of the expedition and reached the summit on 25 May 1996.
– One member of the party, Bruce Herrod, died on the descent.
– His body was found the following year by an Indonesian expedition.

North Ridge Route:
– In 1998, O’Dowd attempted the north side of Everest and encountered a collapsed American climber, Francys Arsentiev.
– Despite efforts to help, they had to turn around before reaching the summit.
– O’Dowd successfully climbed Everest from both the north and south sides in 1999.
– In 2000, she became the fourth woman to summit Lhotse, the world’s fourth highest mountain.
– She shared her experience on BBC Radio in November 2009.

East Face Route:
– In 2003, O’Dowd made an unsuccessful attempt at a new route up the east face of Everest.

Other Expeditions:
– In 2004, O’Dowd joined a dog-sled expedition through the Norwegian Arctic.
– She has climbed mountains across Africa, South America, the Alps, and the Himalayas.
– O’Dowd is an active mountaineer, rock climber, and skier.
– She married Ian Woodall, the leader of the First South African Everest Expedition, in 2001.
– They currently reside in Andorra in the Pyrenees.

– O’Dowd co-authored “Everest: Free To Decide” with Ian Woodall in 1998.
– She authored “Just for the love of it” in 2001.
– The first book details their Everest expedition.
– The second book likely covers her personal mountaineering experiences.

See Also:
– Biography portal and South Africa portal are related resources.
– Lists of Mount Everest summiters by frequency and century are additional references.

Official Site – Cathy O’Dowd: mountain climber, motivational speaker, author (

Cathy O'Dowd (Wikipedia)

Cathy O'Dowd (born 1968) is a South African rock climber, mountaineer, author and motivational speaker. She was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest from both the south and north sides on 25 May 1996 and 29 May 1999, respectively.

O’Dowd grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and attended St. Andrew's School for Girls. She began climbing while at the university. When she was 21, she took part in her first mountain expedition, to the Ruwenzori in Central Africa.

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