twelve climbers died on Everest in one of the worst disasters in the
mountain’s history… We were at the same altitude, in the same location; they
had been in when they died. We had the same experience levels they had, the
same concerns for safety, the same professional and personal ambitions. We
had the same amount of time and the same amount of oxygen. But we also had
one thing they didn’t have. They had clear weather going up, and only
abstract worries that a storm might develop. We already had the
-- Excerpted from TOGETHER ON
TOP OF THE WORLD
TOGETHER ON TOP OF THE
The Remarkable Story of the
First Couple to
Climb the Fabled Seven Summits
By Susan and Phil Ershler
“I read the book in just two
sittings and I can't count how many times I cried. As a mountaineer, I was
especially impressed with Phil's overcoming his numerous life-threatening
health issues, and Sue's perseverance to push herself beyond her established
boundaries. But more than their first-ever athletic accomplishment, what I
admire most about the Ershlers is the strength of their relationship that
gave them the foundation to transform every setback into another goal that
they reached together. I was inspired by their loving marriage and mutually
supporting partnership and hope that all of us readers might find that depth
of happiness in our lives."
-- Aron Ralston, author of
Between a Rock and Hard Place
amazing story of the triumph of love and determination."
Nando Parrado, author of
Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days On the Mountain and My Long Trek Home
“Phil Ershler is a world class climber and guide. Sue Ershler is a first
class businesswoman. But their story is not just about climbing and
business. It is about two people in love who switch leads in life’s hard
climb. A great read—inside or outside a tent!”
Jim Whittaker, author of A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond
and former CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
“Phil and Susan’s astounding accomplishment of being the first couple to
scale the Seven Summits is beautifully articulated and poignantly told in
Together on Top of the
the even greater story of attaining their individual and collective inner
figurative summits should be a marriage counselor’s primer of how two highly
motivated, very independent people dedicated their love and support to one
another throughout their respective major illness and career challenges, and
achieved the ultimate fulfillment of becoming true soulmates!"
Dick Bass, first person to climb the Seven Summits
uplifting account of survival and achievement in the face of great
adversity. A captivating story of love and adventure set amongst the
world's most challenging mountains."
David Breashears, Expedition Leader, Everest IMAX Film
"Takes the reader to the
mountain tops and into the depths of the human heart. It's a powerful,
inspiring, exciting, and beautiful story. A must read."
-- Lynne Cox, author of
Swimming to Antarctica and Grayson
On May 16, 2002, Susan and Phil Ershler achieved what no other couple ever
had: they reached the top of Mount Everest and became the first couple in
history to scale the fabled Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each
What makes their accomplishment more remarkable, however, is the fact that
Susan, a high-powered Fortune 500 business executive, had never hiked, climbed
or even traveled abroad until she met Phil at age 36. And Phil, a
professional mountain guide who climbed his whole life while hiding his battle
with Crohn’s Disease, a chronic, debilitating autoimmune illness, completed
the climb after a struggle with colon cancer that threatened to end his
Now, to coincide with the five-year anniversary of their triumph on Mount
Everest, Phil and Susan tell the whole, inspiring story of their
partnership—in life, love and on the mountains—in TOGETHER ON TOP OF THE
WORLD: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven
Summits (Warner Books, April 2, 2007; $24.99 hardcover), written with Robin
The book opens with the couple’s first, unsuccessful attempt at Everest in
2001 when, after two months on the mountain, Phil’s eyes begin to freeze in
the thin, frigid air at 27,600 feet and they are forced to turn back. In
subsequent chapters told in alternating, first-person narratives, readers are
taken inside Phil and Susan’s intimate lives and witness the events that led
to this significant defeat and ultimate conquest.
A love story, an adventure story, and a story about overcoming tremendous
odds, TOGETHER ON TOP
OF THE WORLD is a moving, beautifully written account that is sure to
inspire others to prevail over life’s obstacles and achieve their dreams.
You can get your copy
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
ERSHLER is the world-renowned partner/owner of International Mountain Guides.
Phil, his partners, and their guides lead climbs on every continent.
is a speaker and former executive at Fortune 500 companies. One of the few
women ever to complete the Seven Summits, she speaks professionally about
pushing past perceived boundaries to pursue your greatest dreams.
SIMONS has authored and co-authored eight books, including Filthy Rich and
Other Nonprofit Fantasies with Richard Steckel and After the Tears.
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