2018 SES EXPLORER OF THE YEAR - VANESSA O’BRIEN
Dual national Vanessa O’Brien became the first British-American woman to successfully conquer K2, the world’s second highest mountain, after a gruelling 16 hour summit push where she encountered deep snow, howling winds and temperatures down to -40 degrees centigrade. This was Vanessa’s third consecutive year attempting K2, and her team’s dedication and persistence paid-off as they became the only team to summit in 2017, following two years of no summits on K2. At the summit, Vanessa proudly displayed British, American and Pakistani flags – representing her homes and her host country – as well as that of UN Women. In recognition of her outstanding grit, determination and ultimately successful expedition, Vanessa was selected to be SES Explorer 2018.