Check out our exclusive interview with the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Hilaree Nelson. Hilaree has been on over 40 expeditions in the last 20 years. She joins us tomorrow, live on stage at The Paramount, for a story that will have you on the edge of your seat. CLICK HERE to purchase your tickets now.
Continue reading for details on how Hilaree prepares for her expeditions, how she manages a family both at home and while away, and her favorite climbing adventures.
Q: Can you paint a picture of your climbing experiences in one sentence?
A: “My Career as an adventurer and climber has changed my worldview through rich experiences in culture, team dynamics, risk, and the emotional relationship with both success and failures in the mountains.”
Q: What climbing adventure was your favorite and why?
A: “I have many favorite climbs mostly because they are all so incredibly different. If I had to choose one it would likely be an expedition many years ago to the Isle of South Georgia due to the inclusion of extreme sailing and abundant wildlife. The remoteness was unique to any other trip I’ve ever done.”
Q: For all of the people who are not climbers, how do you physically and emotionally prepare for an adventure? Can you tell us about the physical and mental training?
A: “I’ve been on upwards of 40 expeditions over 18 years and each one requires a different preparation. Physically I do my best to train in the outdoors through long, aerobic adventure. I work hard at maintaining the technical skills needed to undertake these expeditions by rock climbing, ice climbing and just overall familiarizing myself with the equipment. Mental preparation is often the more challenging aspect of training for an expedition. It’s very difficult to prep for leaving my children but they are also a crucial part of my mental training in that they are always keeping me on my toes.”
Q: As a working parent, how do you and your family prepare for each adventure climb?
A: “Now that my boys are older, ages 9 and 11, I have fairly detailed conversations with them about the in’s and out’s of the expedition. They are much more independent and in that regard, the prep is less so than when they were younger. This ties in with the mental preparation because it goes hand in hand with planning the logistics of any adventure. A benefit of modern day climbing is that I can stay fairly well connected throughout any trip via satellite phone, internet modems, etc. This allows me to manage any problems at home in the present versus trying to have plan for everything in advance.”