• Ellen Miller Vail Athletic Club

Ellen Miller’s Historic Completion of “Everest Trilogy”

Ellen Miller


VAIL, Colo. – July 18 – Ellen Miller’s climbing career is illustrious and her Himalayan high altitude accomplishments are many: she was the first North American women to summit Mt. Everest (29,035 feet) from the north side (Tibet); the first American woman to summit Everest from both sides, Nepal and Tibet. This May, she became the second woman and first American woman to climb Nuptse (25,791 feet) and to complete the ‘Everest Trilogy’ – successful summits of Mt. Everest, Lhotse (27,940 feet) and Nuptse in the Himalaya.

She is also unassuming, quick to smile and unwavering in her encouragement of others, especially those she coaches individually and through her unique programs at the Vail Athletic Club (VAC). Her most recent accomplishment, Nuptse/Triple Crown on May 16, is also her last climb to extreme high altitude (over 25,000 feet). Miller recently announced her retirement from climbing the world’s highest peaks and the Vail Vitality Center is hosting a celebration of Miller’s career with a hike on Vail Mountain followed by festivities at the VAC on Monday, July 22.

Miller began climbing in the early 80’s, and her 25-year high-altitude climbing career has been filled with many successes and some true challenges. She is a certified Level 2 USATF Endurance coach and coaches/manages the U.S. Women’s Mountain Running Team. She is a former competitive athlete (adventure racing, Nordic skiing, running) and was named Colorado Sportswoman of the Year in 2002 for excellence and longevity in mountaineering and competitive sports. Miller also is the founder of The Climb for Literacy, an annual fundraiser involving children’s climbing teams, which raises funds for Third World Education, and works as a trek/climbing guide in the Himalaya.

In 2008 and 2009, Miller underwent hip replacement surgeries and wasn’t sure she would be able to climb at an elite level following recovery. It took her three years of planning and attempts to climb Nuptse on May 16th, on the five-year anniversary of her first hip surgery.

“I am fortunate that through modern technology and a superb surgeon, I have two new titanium hips that have given me my life back,” said Miller.

Miller’s Triple Crown achievement was made sweeter by those who shared her final expedition: her longtime climbing partner Nima Tsering Sherpa and fellow female climbers Billi Bierling, a famous female alpinist from Germany, and Jing Wang, China’s most accomplished female climber.

“This accomplishment is meaningful for me because the Everest region is my second home,” said Miller. “Every spring I have lived in my tent at Everest Base Camp and dreamed of completing The Trilogy. And I have cultivated deep friendships with the Sherpa people.”

The Vail Vitality Center will host an event to celebrate Miller’s career and her achievements on Monday, July 22, with a hike on Vail Mountain, led by Miller, followed by festivities at the VAC, where Miller has coached and trained for 16 years. Those planning to participate in the Vail Mountain hike should meet at the VAC at 5 p.m., prepared to hike. Those wishing to attend the VAC celebration, following the hike and beginning at 6:30 p.m., must RSVP by calling 970-476-7960. Space is limited. The event is hosted free of charge but donations to Miller’s Climb for Literacy event are welcome and appreciated.



About The Vail Vitality Center

Vail Vitality Center wellness options include: the 18,000 sq. ft. Vail Athletic Club, featuring The Yoga Studio, an expansive open concept fitness floor featuring biomechanically correct machines, free weights and more, a Pilates and rehabilitation studio, fitness testing equipment, a variety of innovative and inspirational classes, Vail’s only indoor climbing wall, and extensive locker room amenities; The Spa, offering therapy-based treatments for rejuvenation and restorative benefits; and a wellness experience administered by a group of health experts who take a fresh approach to wellbeing. The Vail Vitality Center is more than just a spa or gym. Guests receive expert counsel in nutrition, regenerative medicine, age management, exercise and fitness, rehabilitation and chiropractic work, personal coaching, restorative spa practices and energy work. The Vail Vitality Center offers an enlightened personal journey that is unique to each and every guest. That journey is the take-away that changes lives and encourages true well living.

Media Contact: Emily McCormack, Hula Communications for Vail Mountain Lodge and the Vail Vitality Center; phone: 970-331-6145; e-mail: emily@hulacommunications.com