Women with Vision





It's so wonderful to see you all here. Thank you for visiting this page, and for sharing and connecting. On this page you will find inspirational stories from woman who have achieved things, or who want to achieve things and are doing their level best to climb their own Everest.

The aim of Women With Vision is to support, inspire and encourage. I have been lucky in my life to have had wonderful opportunities to achieve things. But I did not do these things alone, I had people by my side inspiring me, and encouraging me to keep going when I doubted I could. Their belief in me gave me the belief in myself that I needed to do something as huge as climbing Mount Everest.

I am now here for you, Women With Vision, to support, help and encourage you in any way I can. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me through if there is anything I can do to help you achieve your dreams.

I would like to share with you the story of several very inspirational women, whose determination not to let go of their dreams are supreme illustrations of the strength and courage we have within each of us, if we are willing to dig deep enough to tap into it. The first is about Gineth Soto, who is aiming to become the first Costa Rican to not only climb Mount Everest, but also to climb the 7 summits - the highest mountain on each of the 7 continents. She only has two summits left to climb, Mount Everest and Mount Vinson which is down in Antarctica.

When you have a big dream, a goal as huge and as life defining as Gineth has, then it is inevitable that you will have to take risks to get there. However I don't just mean risks on the mountains, I mean risks in all aspects of your life.  Gineth is married, to a very wonderful sounding man. A man who is willing to make sacrifices and take risks in his life too, to enable his wife to achieve her dreams. You will find his story below. I encourage you to read it, because it is such a wonderful example of how, if we do take the plunge, take the risk and jump off that cliff - which is how it feels, jumping into the unknown - then the universe will step in to support us and everything will fall into place. Thank you Michael for sharing this wonderful story with us. 


Six Years Ago

It still seems funny to me that it’s been this long. Actually, its something I don't really think about much, but for some reason the other day it hit me. Six years ago this week I was accepting the transfer to the Redding office. Although we had talked about moving for years, in a very short time span we uprooted and relocated our lives to a place three and a half hours north, to a community we really knew very little about. I was taking a job that promised to be quite a bit more challenging than the one I was happy with at the time, and we willingly threw Gina into a state limbo, as she would wind her business in the Bay Area down for a few months before moving up to join me in the summer. It was a time that tested our marriage to the fullest and looking back at it now, ended up giving us our greatest reward.

We were happy in the Bay Area. It was the place where we had met, where we had fallen in love, the place where all our memories together had taken place at. Gina had a successful cleaning business, complete with a waiting list of future clients in the wealthy Orinda-Moraga area and I had the best job of my life working for PG&E on a special project. After years of struggling, we were finally feeling secure. Although we could only afford to rent, we were living in the biggest house we had ever had, a nice 1750 square foot place in San Ramon. The neighborhood was great, clean and safe, with a walking/bike/running trail just down the street. We knew exactly where to go to get all the things we might need, from where to go for a good hike to which dog park to take the dogs. In short, we were comfortable. So why change?

Although comfortable, Bay Area life wasn’t perfect. It’s an expensive place to live, and to afford our nice house in San Ramon I worked another job in addition to my job at PG&E, delivering newspapers for the Contra Costa Times. This meant waking up every morning – and I mean EVERY morning – at 2 am and heading off to the Distribution Center in Concord, wrapping newspapers, and then heading out into all types of weather to throw newspapers. The money was too good to stop, and was necessary for us to make ends meet. Unfortunately, finding a substitute so we could go away on weekends was not cheap, and I found myself with the ability to fall asleep anywhere, anytime, whenever I wanted to. But there was another reason, a reason that was much bigger than just my daytime napping skills.

We had to get closer to a mountain. For beginner mountaineers, Mt. Diablo was fine. At 3800’ but with the base at almost sea level, Diablo offers a respectable 3500’ or so of elevation gain from base to top, depending on which trailhead you are at. When we began climbing we were on Diablo constantly, always searching for new trails and enjoying the beauty and serenity of this Bay Area treasure. We explored probably every square mile of the park and enjoyed it as much as we could. We tested ourselves physically by how fast we could climb it with our loaded backpacks, as we trained for climbs of Mt. Whitney (both the normal and Mountaineers’ routes), Mt. Rainier, and lastly Mexico’s giant volcanoes Izta and Orizaba. After the Rainier climb, we had full-on become climbing enthusiasts, and the trip to Mexico only reinforced our new passion. Diablo was an excellent training area for where we were then, but Gineth had dreams to go further, much further. She knew she wanted to climb the Seven Summits. I knew that for in order to make this happen, we needed to be closer to the mountains – to BIG Mountains, the kind of mountains that we could only travel to occasionally from a Bay Area home. We needed to find a new training ground, one that would prepare her for the adventure she was about to embark on.

There were a couple of options for us. Working for a company whose service territory encompasses most of Northern and Central California has its advantages, and it’s not impossible to move around if you so desire. The union has a bid system, and based on your seniority you are given a number. The person with the most seniority gets first crack at it, and so on and so forth. I had put bids in around the system and was weighing the possibilities based on the likelihood that my number would come up. The locations that offered the most hope for happening were Santa Maria and Bakersfield. Redding was in the mix, but my number seemed too high for it to really happen. Santa Maria seemed like it would be nice, the beach and everything, but for mountains it was no better than where we were. Bakersfield seemed like a better choice. Neither of us had ever been there, only passed through on our way to Whitney. It wasn’t really that close to Whitney though, probably still about 3 hours away from Lone Pine, as one has to go south and down around the horn of the Sierras, back up through the Mojave to actually get to Whitney and mountain country. Not a perfect choice, but do-able. So maybe it would be Bakersfield…..

Then things started to happen with my Redding number. Each day as I checked my bids my number got smaller and smaller, as people ahead of me turned down the job. Through the grapevine I learned that in fact there was going to be not one, but two job openings in Redding. Through the weeks I watched as my number went from a beginning of #17 down all the way to #5. I also learned that the company fills open positions by a rotation with management. One position would be filled by union bidding, the next would be filled by management’s choice. Since the special project I was on would be ending within another year, guys from my group were given priority consideration for open positions. The Redding option suddenly leaped forward to the front of our list. You see, not far from the city of Redding, just another hour north on Interstate 5, sits the North State Icon Mt. Shasta. All 14,179’ of its snowy slopes towering above the hills around it, watching over the entire north valley and seen from as far away as Orland on a clear day. Years earlier, on our honeymoon trip after our church wedding, Gina and I had stopped and gawked for hours at the sheer immensity, magnificence and splendor that Shasta possessed. We wondered aloud (back then, before we became climbers) how anybody could scale such a monster, and took a slew of touristy photos with Shasta standing in the background. Now, all of a sudden, an opportunity to move within striking distance was at our doorstep. Would we, could we, take the next, risky step to get closer?

We thought about it a great deal. For Gina, this meant that she would have to end her business in the Bay Area, then restart it again in Redding. Its hard to think about closing a successful business in one place, just so you can start all over from scratch in another. But Gina wanted to make the move just as badly as I did. She was already making plans for her first expedition, a trip in July to attempt Mt. Elbrus in Russia, the European representative of the Seven Summits. We knew we wouldn’t be able to afford to send her unless her money kept flowing in. The business in the Bay Area had to keep going at least until July. My opportunity, however, wasn’t going to hold until then. That meant for those months in between, during the week we would have to live in different places, with only the weekends to spend together. We made the decision, if it were to happen, then we would move the house up to Redding, where rent was cheaper, and rent Gina a room so she could keep her business going Monday through Friday. For her dream, Gina and I gave up being together 7 days a week, all for the future dream of living in proximity to a mountain.

We took a day trip up to Redding one Saturday. We told ourselves that we were just going to go to Blue Mountain, a hiking trail we enjoyed up a little north past Berryessa Lake, one that you had to go north on I-5 to get to. But we kept going past the off-ramp, kept going to the north. We stopped in Redding and found a Starbucks to have some coffee. Redding had a mall, at least some sign of civilization. (Later we would find out how small the mall was, but that day it didn’t matter.) We went to the grocery store to buy some lunch. The cashier said hello and started conversation with us. Cashiers in the Bay Area don’t do that. The friendliness of the people actually shocked us, we were so desensitized from years of Bay Area indifference. We continued up I-5 to Mt Shasta. We kept going up the Everitt Memorial Highway, all the way to the trailhead at Bunny Flat. Since it was late March, the parking lot was already crowded with skiers, snow-shoers, and best of all to us, even some mountaineers getting ready for a climb. This was the place we needed to be.

Things happened pretty fast. A cowboy named James took the union position a couple of notches ahead of me. That meant that I had to get the management’s choice position. The Supervisor, Ron, invited me up for a look-see. The ADE who I would be working for, Rodger, invited me to stay at his house for the night I came up. I don’t know why, but immediately I felt at home. The area was going through an unprecedented building boom, one that taxed all the employees to the extreme. I was told I would be able to, and that I would probably feel the need to, work up to 30% overtime. Customer contact, something I had never dealt with before, was mandatory. I had always heard the horror stories of estimators who had customer contact and before thought that was something I would never want to do. But here I was, willingly and blindly saying “no problem”, I’ll do whatever I have to for the job. At the end of the day, Ron took me aside into his office, and told me that the job was mine, if I wanted it. I accepted it on the spot. I called Gina and told her. We were so excited, but so nervous. Finally, we were going to move closer to the mountain.

They needed help immediately, and I was given a report date that was in just a couple of weeks. We came up the first weekend and looked at houses for rent, found one that suited our purposes, and the next weekend came up and finalized the deal. The rent was unbelievably low to us, but average for this market. I realized that my days of working two jobs were about to be over. I delivered my last newspaper and got familiar again with what a full night’s sleep felt like.

The whole house was packed up as me, the 2 dogs and the 2 cats all prepared to move, while Gina was left with just a few basics to make it through the next few months. While I moved in April, it wouldn’t be until August, after she returned from Russia, that Gina would join me in living in Redding full-time. The next few months she would live out of duffel bag, driving from Redding to work in Orinda early on Monday mornings, then living and working by herself until Friday afternoon, when she would make the return trip north to be with me. The move was much harder on Gina than it was on me. I had the house, the dogs, the TV, the normal life, while she had her days alone, with nobody but a voice on the other end of a telephone. Gina was the one who really sacrificed for this, and it was her dream of climbing that got her through it.

I started working in Redding April 15th and two weeks later, at the last weekend of the month, the day came to move the last of our things to Redding. Gina rode with me as we pulled out of the driveway of our San Ramon house for the last time. Even though Gina would live/commute for the next months, we both knew that our time in the Bay Area was over. I turned the 4 Runner to drive away, and Gina stopped me to look one last time at our old house. Tears welled up in her eyes, and I asked her what was wrong. “Its just that we were so happy here, I can’t believe that we are leaving.” I held my wife and told her not to cry, that everything would be alright. “Everything’s going to be fine, sweetheart.” I told her. “You’ll see, it’s all going to work out for the best.” I flipped on the radio, just to help get her mind off of the sadness. Over the speakers came the strains of Bachman-Turner Overdrive in mid-tune, jamming “You Ain’t See Nothing Yet, B-b-b-baby you just ain’t see nothing yet….” And we drove away.

Listen to this TV interview with Gineth...listen to her words...listen to her passion...It's passion that gets you to the summit, that gets you to your goal. Go Gineth, Women With Vision are with you!

You can find Gineth on Facebook and on her website.

at very inspirational woman called Eloise Fox Peyman. This is a story of true grit and determination, the story of a woman whose love of the mountains has kept her going through adversity and who is well on the way to climbing her own Everest.


 What is it like to have a vision but be Calamity Jane incarnate!!. What ever possesed me to think should ever go near a mountain. My Friends and I had been holidaying in the South Island in New Zealand where I live. We had gone out for a run in a National Park on a very hot dry day.  Heading back going downhill  I slip on loose ground, tumble down the hill and sprain my ankle badly. Three day's later with a big fat swollen foot I am off doing a day trek on the Fox Glacier. I was hooked.

Next revelation was I woke up one morning with the idea firmly cemented in my head I wanted to climb a mountain. In my daft head I decided to do a 2 day mountaineering course on our Mount Ruapehu then go to Tibet trek to Advanced Base camp and climb Lakpa Ri just under 7000 metres.

Great idea Eloise only problem the male guide we hired asked us what our plans were and he laughed himself sick. His words still resound in my head so clearly. "I know real mountaineers who can't get past base camp you lot are stupid! stupid! stupid!. We did our best on the course but those knots! and then I lost one of his precious prussiks which set off a full scale search. Did he abuse the heck out of me.

But the worst was to come when I went to get my gaiters from the drying room there was his precious prussik stuck to the velcro of my gaiters. Did I get the big lecture," you stupid dimwit Eloise" he called me.

Off we went to Nepal, all the good gear smart cool new kids on the block. Hired A nepalese climbing sherpa 2 cooks and off we go. Great, no trouble up to Advanced Base Camp we go.  Hey this is easy 3 day's we are at A.B.C at 64450 metres and ready to climb Lakpa Ri.

Next thing we are hit by a huge storm, couldn't see a thing whiteout. Avalanches hurtling down Everest and Changste.

Scary stuff with weight of snow, freezing temperatures and the tent filling with snow drift.

Abort trip when storm clears was only answer. Oh dear coming down terrible pains in my tummy must be brewing for the runny bum syndrome.

All the way back to Nepal no runny bum but really bad gut pain. Back at Hotel I collapsed on floor. Off to the Hospital in a van, Next thing I wake up in their equivalent to Intensive care, with a man standing over me saying do you remember me, I put you to sleep. You have avery bad curse on you to have this disease. My friends were terrified, what was wrong with me Cancer or What!. Major abdominal surgery, I had acute peretonitis and nearly died!!.  Maybe the Guide was right I am absoluely Mad. I came home looking like death but Oh no! I was possesed by a departed mountaneer who had to climb a Mountain(just joking on that one but it feels like that).  Now readers this was just the start of Calamity Janes story, I'll log on tomorrow believe me it get's worse and yet here I am looking at my ice axe and I am fighting the urge which is so strong. Give me a mountain the bigger the better!.

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