With mental, emotional and physical determination as important cargo, Stacy Allison reached an important milestone on September 29, 1988: She was the first American woman to successfully reach the summit of Mount Everest. It is a claim only a few climbers across the globe can make.

Why it’s a notable feat

Allison, who was a member of the Northwest American Everest Expedition at the time she reached the summit, encountered immensely difficult challenges and odds to reach Mount Everest, which is 29,035 feet above sea level and is considered the highest point on earth.

According to scientists, the summit, which is the peak of the mountain, reaches two-thirds of the way into the earth’s atmosphere. The natural phenomena are so notable, in fact, it is equal to the cruising altitude airlines fly within. For this reason, oxygen supply can be much less abundant than it is on the earth’s surface.

Began climbing at age 21

According to her bio on Beyond the Limits, Allison began climbing at age 21 when she undertook major alpine climbing and found success with the endurance activity. A year later, she made her first major foray, reaching the peak of Alaska’s Denali, which is considered the highest point in North America.

Before scaling Mount Everest, Allison tackled Ama Dablam in Nepal’s Matterhorn, which is 22,495 feet above sea level at its highest point.

After Everest

As her bio states, Allison went on to make other notable achievements, including serving as the leader of a successful K2 expedition. “In any endeavor, leaders should inspire members of the team with a passion for success,” Allison wrote in her bio.

Allison has also given back to the community in a number of ways, including chairing the American Lung Association of Pacific Mountain and taking part in such fundraising efforts as the Climb for Clean Air initiative.