Author, mountaineer who climbed Seven Summits to visit Saranac Lake

SARANAC LAKE — Mountaineer, entrepreneur and humanitarian Silvia Vasquez-Lavado, the first Peruvian woman to climb Mt. Everest, and the first openly gay woman to climb the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, will speak at Saranac Lake High School next week.

Vasquez-Lavado’s debut memoir, “In the Shadow of the Mountain,” tells the story of how an early life of abuse and addiction led her to discover hiking as a method of healing. These pursuits transformed her life and empowered her to not only climb the world’s most challenging peaks, but also to found the non-profit, Courageous Girls, which is “dedicated to healing and empowering survivors of violence and abuse through adventures in nature.” Her memoir is currently being adapted into a major motion picture starring Selena Gomez.

Coming to Saranac Lake from San Francisco, Vasquez-Lavado’s visit is part of the Adirondack Center for Writing’s inaugural Kicka** Writers Festival, taking place all over Saranac Lake on Aug. 19 and Aug. 20.

Vasquez-Lavado’s talk is scheduled for Aug. 20 at 5 p.m. Those who are registered for the festival at any paid level are able to attend, and single tickets can be purchased for $10. Originally, this event was scheduled at BluSeed Studios, but due to a demand for tickets, it has been moved to the auditorium at Saranac Lake High School, at 79 Canaras Ave.

Vasquez-Lavado is also leading an early morning hike up Baker Mountain for festival attendees. Those who want to join the hike can meet her at the Baker Mountain trailhead at 7 a.m. on Aug. 20.


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