Before DesLauriers, no one had ever accomplished a climb/ski of all the so-called Seven Summits. Indeed, almost no one had, or has, ever even tried it. That's understandable. For one thing, it's, like, really hard to get to seven continents in one lifetime. For another, it's, uh, totally dangerous to ski down peaks that are 20,000-plus feet above sea level because you run into things like, say, the Lhotse Face. "If they were skiing the Lhotse Face at sea level, I'd think that was amazing," says Kevin Flynn, a Rochester, New York, advertising executive who has climbed Everest and several of the other Seven Summits and lived to write a book about it. "But doing it more than 20,000 feet above sea level, with the oxygen issues at that altitude, is just crazy. If one of them had fallen and died, you'd say, 'That was a really stupid thing to do.' Since they were successful, you can say, 'They came out rock stars.' But there's a pretty thin line between being a rock star and being an idiot."
The funny thing is that DesLauriers is neither an idiot nor a rock star, nor is she a totally outer-limits nutbar. You could be excused for thinking that someone who for two and a half years willingly and repeatedly faced down death might be covered in tattoos and fain to speak in the rapid-fire language of an Olympic half-pipe champion, all "dude" and "rad" and whatnot. But DesLauriers isn't at all like that. She's tattoo-free (as far as one can tell in casual company and without asking), calm, and exceedingly pleasant - though at times, quite blunt. And she didn't climb and then ski down the Seven Summits to gain immortality or to land a spot in a Carl's Jr. hamburger commercial. She did it because, as a successful competitive skier and sports model with corporate backing from the North Face, she had the means to try. And also because she loves to ski. Simple as that. "This wasn't something I was going out to do just to attract fame and become a rock star," DesLauriers says from a home in Jackson Hole that's surrounded by mountains. "This was a personal pursuit."