In January of 2016, mountaineer Colin O’Brady set out to break the world record for the Explorers Grand Slam – climbing the tallest mountain on each continent and trekking to the last degree of latitude on the North and South Poles.
O’Brady summited the last two peaks, Everest, on May 19 and, Denali, on May 27 in a crescendo of climbing to shatter the world record by nearly two months. He finished the entire quest in only 139 days.
For O’Brady, this is an achievement far greater than a record for the world; it is one of great personal significance.
Before beginning his career in finance, Colin left to explore the world on a backpacking trip. While in Thailand, he suffered a tragic accident and severely burned nearly 25% of his body, primarily his legs and feet. Doctors warned him he might never again walk normally. He focused not only on walking again, but set himself a goal: to complete a triathlon following his recovery. Nearly two years later, he finished that triathlon. Then another, then another until he had earned recognition as a professional triathlete. The refuge he would find in endurance sports would lead him to the brink of this record-breaking mountaineering pursuit.
His feat was sweetened even further by the fact that during his attempt at the Explorers Grand Slam he also broke the fastest climb of the Seven Summits by two days—a feat that on its own takes years of preparation—and that he was able to use his world record to raise $1 million to combat the childhood obesity epidemic that effects more than 20 million kids in the United States.
Explore with O’Brady as he shares stories from earth’s highest peaks and most remote locations alongside his motivations for a world record. He’ll discuss his pursuit of personal excellence and triumphing over adversity mixed in stories like how, for 139 days, he was constantly weighing decisions for speed with factors for safety, or how he had to climb 5,000 vertical feet—to reach a camp at 26,000 feet—in a single day and even snippets such as how the sun only rises at the South Pole on September 21.