Utah mom on track to become first woman to climb the “Second Seven”

Mar 17, 2021, 9:20 AM | Updated: 9:36 am

PARK CITY, Utah — A Park City mom and athlete hopes to become the first woman ever to climb and summit the so-called “Second Seven,” the second-highest mountains on each of the world’s seven continents, just a few years after the accident that should have killed her. 

Inspired by a brush with death

Jenn Drummond survived a car accident in December 2018, when a semi-truck hit her car on US 40 between Heber and Park City, flipping her car three-and-a-half times before it landed upside-down. 

“The police built the accident about 50 different times and not one scenario did I survive,” Drummond said in an interview for KSL NewsRadio’s Heart of Utah. “Facing death almost puts life into living, and that really made me do a time out and just reevaluate.” 

She discovered a passion for mountaineering in the peaks around her in Summit County and with friends in the Grand Tetons, using the experiences to teach her seven children to do hard things.

“We were doing math homework one day and my son was crying about how hard it is and I was like, ‘We do hard things! This is OK, we’ve got this!’  And he was like, ‘Well if we do hard things, then why haven’t you climbed Mt. Everest yet?”

So they started researching what it would take for her to get to the top of Everest.

“When you go to make a big goal like that, you don’t start with Everest, right? So you have to start with smaller steps just like any other goal. What do I need to do today? What do I need to do tomorrow to get me closer to that bigger piece.”

Summiting the “Second Seven” 

So Drummond hired a coach, who told her she should consider channeling her passion for mountain climbing into summiting the “Second Seven” peaks. No woman has done it before, and while the mountains are the second highest peaks on each continent, they’re considered more “technically” advanced and challenging than their taller and more famous cousins. 

Drummond says it felt like she was meant to do this. 

“Two is my favorite number, and I have seven children, so it’s like one peak for each of them that they can research,” she said.

Climbing ev’ry mountain

One of her training mountains was Ama Dablam in Nepal. So far, on the list of the Second Seven, she has summited Ojos Del Salado in South America (last December) and Mount Kenya in Africa (this past February).  

Her next peak will be Everest, to train for K2 and then she’ll go back to do K2. 

After that, she’ll work toward crossing Gora Dykh-Tau in Russia, Mt Tyree in Antarctica, Mt Logan in Canada, and Mt Townsend in Australia off the list. 

In all, the Second Seven peaks range from just over 7,000 feet in Australia to just over 28,000 in Asia. They are: 

  • Gora Dykh-Tau, Russia, Europe, 17,077 feet
  • K2, Nepal, Asia, 28,251 feet
  • Mt. Kenya, Kenya, Africa, 17,057 feet
  • Mt. Logan, Canada, North America, 19,551 feet
  • Mt. Townsend, Australia, 7,247 feet
  • Mt. Tyree, Antarctica, 15,919 feet
  • Ojos Del Salado, Chile, South America, 22,615 feet

COVID-19 travel restrictions have forced her to change her plans and adjust to safety concerns in different countries. She must also schedule her climbs carefully, as some peaks, notably Mt. Everest and K2, cannot be summited year-round. 

Drummond says she wants to show others how to set a goal and accomplish it, no matter what that goal looks like, with her mantra, “Bold, Brave, Beautiful.”

“I think my biggest point that I’m trying to get across is that this isn’t about me, I’m just one person doing this. When we hang out with people that eat healthy it inspires us to eat healthy. When we’re hanging out with people who are positive and going after their goals, it allows us to see that in ourselves,” Drummond said.

“I’m doing this as a platform for my children and for everyone else. Yeah I’m a mom, and I have long blonde hair, but I still do these things out in the mountains. So my whole purpose is, this is what lights me up, I’m so excited about it and I want to share it. Please join in and share what you’re doing so I can be a cheerleader for you too. 

“For me, climbing mountains is this visible, tangible thing that works. But we all have mountains that we have to climb, we all have boldness that we need to live or bravery that we have to step into, and all our journeys are beautiful.”

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Utah mom on track to become first woman to climb the “Second Seven”