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Melissa Arnot

The Motivator


Melissa Arnot

Success in Thin Air

World Renowned Mountaineer, Mountain Guide

Six Time Everest Summiteer

First American Woman to Summit Everest Without Oxygen

Melissa Arnot is the first American woman to successfully summit and descend Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and has climbed the world’s highest peak six times. How did she overcome these incredible challenges? “The mountain doesn’t discriminate,” says Melissa. “The mountain doesn’t care if you’re male or female. It’s going to give you the same challenges every day.” In awe-inspiring talks, Melissa shares stories and breathtaking images from her climbs, inspiring audiences to reach new heights. You don’t have to climb a mountain to achieve your dream—but you might want to after experiencing Melissa’s keynote.

Melissa Arnot has been a working mountain guide since 2004. She is the first American woman to successfully summit and descend Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and has climbed the world’s highest peak six times. She has devoted her life to learning from the mountains and sharing that knowledge with others.

In 2012 Melissa co-founded The Juniper Fund to provide financial support to families of local workers killed in the mountains of Nepal, and she continues to be actively involved with the fund.

Melissa lives in the Methow Valley of Washington State with her husband, Tyler, where they spend their time playing in the mountains while running their respective guide services.

Notable Climbs:

  • First American woman to summit/descend Mount Everest without oxygen.

  • Six Summits of Mount Everest in nine attempts, the most of any American woman.

  • First Ascent of Mustang Himal, in the Mustang region of Nepal.

  • Mount Rainier, Washington 100+ climbs.

  • Guided two 100% successful groups of celebrities and influencers on Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the global clean water crisis, with SOTS, Summit on the Summit.

  • Various guided ascents of Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Ecuador Volcanoes, Colombian Andes and various trekking peaks in Nepal.

  • Fifty Peaks Challenge: Facilitated climbing the 50 state high points in record time: 41 days, 16 hours and 10 minutes.


Everyday Teamwork: Melissa Arnot on the “Brotherhood of the Rope”

Mountaineers have a special term for teamwork on the mountain: the “brotherhood of the rope.” When you climb together, you form a unique bond—one that is forged in danger; in high stakes; in literal life-or-death situations. It’s a brotherhood that goes beyond the imaginable to save another climber’s life. It’s a brotherhood that sees climbers summit—or perish—together. Most of us will never experience this kind of brotherhood—but we can learn from it. 

In this electrifying keynote, six-time Everest summiteer Melissa Arnot shares her strategies for fostering teamwork in your organization. When you work as a team, she says, you are united in the face of your goal. And when you behave in a strategic, collaborative way—by supporting one another, sharing skills, and uniting intent—you will be better and stronger. Your audience will walk away with the practical leadership skills they need to develop and nurture effective teamwork.

The Fifty Peaks Challenge: Climb Every Mountain

There are 50 states in the United States, and every one of them has a high point. Some are simple prominences that can easily be driven to; others require extreme technical mountaineering ability. To climb to the top of all 50 can take a lifetime. As of 2014, only 253 people had done it. To complete it in only 50 days is an incredible challenge of endurance, logistics, and mental strength.

In this talk, six-time Everest summiteer Melissa Arnot shares the story of the Fifty Peaks Challenge. Climbing a mountain every day sounds pretty tough. But is that how regular life feels to you? For a lot of us, just getting through the day is a challenge. Stress, deadlines, juggling family and work, maintaining our relationships, making time for exercise—we have a lot on our plates. If we don’t take care of ourselves, we become drained and beat up, which takes a significant toll on our health and prevents us from being at our best both mentally and physically. Melissa shares real-life, practical ways to overcome this pressure. Her strategies will help you be the very best you can be in all aspects of both your personal and professional life—so that every day doesn’t feel like climbing to an impossible height. (Unless, of course, you’re joining Melissa on her next mountaineering expedition—in which case, you can do it!)

Contact us to learn how Melissa can craft a talk for your audience.

She defines badass better than any Liam Neeson meme could ever hope to.
— Esquire