The Diva in Down

Heather Geluk’s passion for adventure is the by-product of a love for the outdoors instilled by her rural Canadian roots and an inherent sense of ‘wanderlust’. 

These same rural roots have also instilled in her the importance of community and the responsibility of playing a part to make it better. For over 10 years, Heather has actively used her extensive experiences climbing the highest mountains on earth as opportunities to inspire others and to give back to the community by raising funds and awareness to support the health and wellbeing of women and babies around the world through research, training and education. 

A change management specialist by profession, Heather draws on the lessons learned from her extensive mountaineering experiences to work with business leaders in organisations around the world to develop parallels between the challenges and leadership lessons learned in the mountains and those faced by organisations today. Heather believes that experiences outside of the ‘boardroom’ – in basecamps for example, are as important as those gained inside. Success is achieved by setting clear goals, good planning and teamwork.

Achievements beyond her day job have included over 25 significant expeditions to the highest mountains in the world including Everest, Lhotse (4th Canadian woman to reach the summit), Makalu, and Shishapangma (Nepal / Tibet), Aconcagua (Argentina), Alpamayo (Peru), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Damavand (Iran) and skiing and climbing extensively in the Himalayas and the Alps.  Not limited to adventures closer to sea level, Heather has also cycled over 7500kms from west to east across Canada, across Tanzania, and has dragon boat raced down the Thames River in London (UK), and white water rafted extensively throughout Nepal. 

Through her high-altitude adventures Heather has raised over $350,000 for charity. Causes closest to her heart include Wellbeing of Women (UK) and the Women's College Hospital Foundation (Canada). Both charities are dedicated to improving the health of women, mothers and babies through research, training and education. She also supports the Paldorje Education Foundation which sponsors Nepalese children through elementary and high school and college undergraduate programs.  

During her recent record-breaking expedition to become the first woman in 23 years and second woman ever to climb Shishapangma and Cho Oyu, two 8,000m (26 500 ft) peaks in one season in the Nepal Himalaya, Heather was caught in the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April, 2015. Fortunate to have survived, Heather stayed on in Nepal and through the Paldorje Education Foundation provided humanitarian assistance to those thousands of men, women and children impacted by the earthquake.  

In June 2018 Heather sets off on her latest adventure, to climb Denali, the highest mountain in North America.