Chris Falk, President of Heatsheets, sat down with former U.S. Marine Corp Sergeant and recipient of the Pat Tillman Award for Service at the 2019 ESPYs, Kirstie Ennis, to discuss her inspiring expedition up the daunting Mount Everest. Although the elements at the top of the world prevented her from reaching the summit, she made it to heights that only a select number have reached and accomplished her goal of inspiring all people, men, women and children that anything is possible if you put no boundaries on your abilities and give the time, effort, and heart that major accomplishments need to succeed.
Kirstie began her Mt. Everest journey by getting acclimated to the cold and altitude during her first two weeks at base camp with her team of three supporters that accompanied her throughout her voyage. She recalls approaching her journey in a very “old school” way by utilizing a cautious approach up the mountain. By doing so, she was able to remain safe, avoid injury, and escape the ferocious lines and overcrowding on Everest that have been plastered on the news this year. Respecting the mountain was paramount to Kirstie throughout her trek.
Heatsheets was one of the many resources Kirstie used to support her summit attempt. She recalls Heatsheets helping her regulate her body temperature while enduring the blistering heat from the sun bouncing off the snow, shielding herself from the sun’s rays and fighting off frostbite.
“Heatsheets are durable! There are many products that say they can withstand the elements, but they are not being put to the test of functioning in areas like Mt. Everest. Heatsheets has proven it can withstand extreme winds, snowstorms, ice storms, cold and heat.”
She discusses the moment she made her decision not to complete the summit. She explains it as “tearing her heartstrings but making her proud.” She struggled with the decision because she had been previously told she wouldn’t be able to make it past camp one or two as an amputee, but she’s gratified with proving doubters wrong and accomplishing so much in those two months climbing to the top of the world. When asked her biggest takeaway from the experience, she answered:
“Embracing failure. Being able to say I’m ok with failing if I’m willing to give this one my all. Hopefully someone is out there watching and sees me doing this and wants to try it.”
Kirstie plans to return to Everest to finally conquer the summit. She has an even broader goal of completing all seven summits. She’s already halfway through having completed four.
As an admirer of the outdoors, adventures, and wellness, Kirstie began her own nonprofit organization, the Kirstie Ennis Foundation, to support and enhance the quality of life for individuals and families. This September, Kirstie is heading to Ecuador to deliver recycled prosthetics to amputees in need. She hopes to continue delivering prosthetics to people all around the world.
Visit Kirstie’s blog to learn more about her time on Everest and her other adventures.