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© Wouter de Wilde
Mountain Climber

Mary-Claire Rijsman

Mary-Claire takes you into the mountains, connects mountaineering with business and hopes to motivate and inspire you to reach your own peak and create your own success.

Keynote Speaker
Keynote Speaker,

Specialist Subjects

1. Pushing boundaries literally and figuratively

In the mountains you literally climb to new heights, with each step being a confrontation with yourself and overcoming obstacles. Reaching the summit represents not only a triumph over the rugged terrain, but also a personal victory and the pushing of physical and mental limits.

Both in the mountains and on the job, the process of pushing boundaries is steeped in perseverance. Whether climbing to a summit or pursuing professional success. It is those who are willing to challenge the status quo and themselves who often achieve the most rewarding outcomes.

2. Dealing with setbacks when you fail to achieve a goal (the summit)

Dealing with setbacks when you don’t achieve your goal, such as reaching the summit, takes resilience and a positive mindset. Instead of getting discouraged by the setback, it provides an opportunity for self-reflection and growth. Every expedition comes with high and lows. Accepting failure as part of the process and maintaining a positive attitude leads to new opportunities and ultimately to longer-term success.

3. The functioning of a team especially during extreme conditions

Team functioning, whether in the mountains or on the job, is put to the test in extreme conditions. In mountainous terrain, where conditions are often unpredictable and challenging, effective communication is essential. A good team anticipates change, works together to overcome obstacles, and shares the heavy load evenly. The same is true at work, where teams are under pressure to meet deadlines or face unforeseen challenges. In both scenarios, trust in team members is crucial, as everyone plays a specific role that contributes to collective success. During extreme circumstances, teams can learn to be flexible, make quick decisions and support each other, which not only improves performance but also strengthens the bonds between them.

4. Motivation and discipline to achieve a long-term goal

Climbing a mountain requires motivation and discipline. Motivation is the force that arises from the desire to reach the summit and the fuel that moves you forward in moments of physical exhaustion. Discipline, on the other hand, emerges when the way up becomes steep and demanding. The combination forms a powerful tandem, allowing mountaineers not only to push their physical limits but also to overcome mental obstacles on the way to the summit.

5. Physical and mental health

Both in the mountains and at work, physical and mental health play a role in achieving success. Physical preparedness is crucial to face challenging terrain and altitudes, requiring a combination of strength, endurance and acclimatization. At the same time, mental resilience is put to the test, confronting yourself and your team through nature in the most extreme conditions. At work, mental resilience is crucial for navigating stressful situations, promoting teamwork and maintaining a positive work environment.

6. Combining top sports and studying

Combining sports and studying is challenging. It requires a commitment to intensive training schedules and expeditions. At the same time, academic success requires consistency, focus and time for study and assignments. Mastering both requires strict planning and discipline. Nevertheless, this combination also offers valuable life lessons, such as the ability to set goals and priorities. Successfully combining sports and studying requires not only athletic talent, but also a determination to excel in the mountains as well as at the University.

7. Explorers Grand Slam

Mary-Claire is on her way to becoming the first Dutch female mountaineer to reach the so-called ‘Explorers Grand Slam’. These are the famous ‘Seven Summits’ – the highest mountain on each continent – and skiing to the last degree of the North and South Pole. This journey has already taken her to the summits of Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and Kosciuszko, and during her Elbrus expedition she even became the first Dutch mountaineer to climb both the east and west summits. She is currently preparing to face Aconcagua, Denali, Vinson and the South Pole in 2024. And to complete this mission, she will climb Mount Everest and ski to the North Pole in 2025.



Being taken into the magic of the mountains, thinking in possibilities and following your passion out of the box gives everyone personally another boost to look at the world this way too!

"What an inspiring evening! Mary-Claire spoke vividly and enthusiastically about her passion, purpose and how she got to this point. Being taken into the magic of the mountains, thinking in ...

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Christine Eenhorst from Ladies' Circle Nederland

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