By "up there," he means at about 13,000 feet on Vinson Massif. Just a day before they were to head for the summit, Kit and Rob got stuck in a sudden, brutal storm, with winds exceeding 70 miles per hour and temperatures plunging to at least 50 below zero. DesLauriers can tell you all about nearly running out of supplies, about the storm stopping just in time to allow them to get to the summit before having to abandon the climb. She can tell you all of that. But you're not going to really understand it, because unless you've been there, done that, you probably don't know that under such conditions, Vinson Massif isn't just difficult and dangerous; it's otherworldly. Toss some water into the air there, and it will instantly crystallize. You'll never see water turn to ice in midair while schussing down the slopes in Jackson Hole.

Which is one of the reasons DesLauriers set out on her Seven Summits adventure. She wanted to see things she couldn't see at home in Jackson Hole, things she hadn't seen while growing up and moving with her parents from Westport, Massachusetts, to Long Island, New York. By the time she visited Telluride with her family during a ski vacation, she was already an avid skier, having fallen in love with the sport on her very first downhill run at the age of 14. DesLauriers decided to move to Telluride on her own in 1991, and when she wasn't skiing, she was hiking. When she wasn't hiking or skiing, she was volunteering for her county's search and rescue teams or working as a stonemason. Yes, a stonemason. One imagines she could crush walnuts with her back muscles.

She has even modeled for sports-apparel and sports-equipment companies. That led to a 1999 expedition in Siberia, where she met Rob DesLauriers while he was making a mountaineering film on Mount Belukha. "I was the talent," she says. The two married, settled in Jackson Hole, and immediately set upon opening Teton Mountain Lodge, which Rob runs. After three years of hard labor, they left on vacation. Whoa. Hockey stop. Actually, she prefers not to refer to it as a vacation.