Colorado woman works toward climbing "Seven Summits"

9NEWS at 4 p.m. 06/06/16.

DENVER - Kim Hess has dreamt about climbing Mount Everest since she was a little girl. That dream became a reality on May 21, when she reached the top with her big brother.

But Mount Everest is just part of the plan.

Hess is working toward an even bigger goal: climbing the "Seven Summits," which means she's hoping to climb the highest peak on every continent. Mount Everest was number 5.

"I think you just kind of fantasize, you have a dream and you fantasize about what it's going to be like once you actually do it. And you get there and you're doing it and you realize it's totally different," Hess said. "I learned a lot about myself, I learned a lot about other people, yeah, it was not what I thought it would be."

She's climbing every peak with her big brother.

"It's great, there are four of us, I'm the youngest, he's the oldest, we never really had a relationship until we got older, so to be able to travel the world with him and spend time adventuring has been really fun," Hess said. "It's always good to have a free punching bag, next to you, who isn't going to judge you."

So far, the siblings have climbed Denali, Aconcagua, Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. Hess estimated about 400 people have completed the "Seven Summit" challenge. She said less than 50 of those are women.

"It's been life changing. I think I saw my life going a certain path, maybe when I was in college, and now I've kind of developed and created a whole new side of who I am and what I want to do and what I thought I was capable of and what I'm actually capable of," Hess said. "It's been a really interesting adventure, if you asked me ten years ago, I would have said no way is that me."

Hess went to Cherry Creek High School and now lives in Steamboat. She said she plans to save some money and hopes to make it to the final two peaks, Mount Vinson in Antarctica and Mount Kosciuzko in Australia, in about a year-and-a-half.

"I've been really open about it being a dream and open about the challenges that have come with it, and I think everyone can kind of grasp onto the idea of wanting something. And sometimes they don't always have the courage to do it."

You can read more about Hess's adventures here.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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