Everest Summit Challenge

The Ultimate Team Building Event

The Everest Summit Challenge is an experiential team learning exercise conducted outdoors. It enables client teams to simulate the euphoria and dilemmas experienced by high altitude mountaineering teams.  In addition to other elements that make up high performing teams, the event shows the participants the trade-offs between choosing to maintain trust and well-being among its members or achieving a goal at any cost.

Client teams are harnessed together on a static line and have to move together as a team to attempt to reach the summit of “Mount Everest.”  Teams have a finite amount of time to reach the “summit” and return.  To reach the “summit,” the teams must navigate through several checkpoints using orienteering techniques.

Each checkpoint provides the team with a new set of variables requiring them to assess the viability of the team and their ability to achieve the mission in the designated amount of time.  The event is constructed such that each team is introduced to several elements of “perceived risk” requiring them to bring their total focus and concentration to the event in order to be successful as they battle weather, time, injury, sickness and even death.


The purpose of the exercise is to provide an opportunity for each participant to embody many of the distinctions and practices that enable teams to achieve high performance including:

  • Commitment to a clear mission
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Communication and coordination
  • Trust
  • Awareness
  • Choice

Ultimately, through participating in the Everest Summit Challenge, participants discover that it is far better to build and maintain trust and relationship among the team members than to go for victory at any cost. Winning teams are those who make choices consistent with taking care of the team members above victory in the game and, as a result of playing the game together well, would jump at the chance to be on the team again.


Participants role-play as members of an international team of highly skilled mountain climbers attempting to climb Mount Everest. The event begins at Camp Four at an altitude of 26,000 feet at 1:00 AM in the “bitter cold.” The teams are preparing for the most difficult 18 hours of their lives. It will take each team approximately 13 hours to get to the summit at 29,028 feet (8,848 meters) and 5 – 6 hours to get back to Camp Four.

Today could be the most glorious day of their lives, or their last. Prior to starting their journey, the teams must prioritize its objectives. Will the teams’ objective be to reach the summit at all costs and risk their lives in exchange for a once in a lifetime chance to achieve an objective that has been the focus of their lives for over ten years? Or, will they decide to play it safe and ensure, no matter what, that all members of their team make it back alive-and-well, even if it means turning around 300 feet from the summit to live and try the next season?


  • Total Event Time:  3.0 hours to run the event including setup & debrief.
  • Location:  Large wooded areas are best (regional parks, golf resorts, retreat centers).
  • People:  6 – 12 persons per team.
  • Number of Teams:  1 – 20