Together On Top Of The World

Together on Top of the World

A powerful, inspirational true adventure story…

Susan: a Fortune 500 executive. Phil: a mountaineer with a secret. Together on Top of the World is the story of their journey—through life-threatening illnesses—to the highest mountain on every continent, to the extremes of elation and despair. It is a love story, an adventure story, a story of success against all odds. Above all, it is the story of two people who refused to back down in quest of a seemingly impossible dream.

Most inspiring, “Together on Top of the World” is a story of going for your greatest dreams against all odds and pushing past mental and physical boundaries.

“I was 36-years-“old” already when I met him. I’d given up on getting married. But within hours of meeting him I knew that I was wrong. I was a high-heeled, high-powered sales executive and he was a fleece-and-jeans wearing mountain guide. We couldn’t have been more different if we tried. But he was the most compassionate and genuine man I’d ever met. From the get-go I was besotted and lustful as a teenager. Pretty quickly, though, the lust grew into deep, deep love, unlike anything I’d ever known.

By that time, he’d taught me to love the mountains the way he did, and I’d begun using every vacation to join him on his climbs. So it seemed only natural that before too long we would attempt what no couple had done before, to climb the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on every continent, together. What we couldn’t know was how close we would come to not making it. Not because of danger on the mountains, or because we lacked the skill or teamwork to pull it off, but because life had something else in store for us.”

—Susan Ershler
“TOGETHER ON TOP OF THE WORLD is a moving, beautifully written account that is sure to inspire others to prevail over life’s obstacles and achieve their dreams.”

New York Press

PHIL ERSHLER is the first American to ascend the North Wall of Everest and the world-renowned partner/owner of International Mountain Guides. Phil, his partners, and their guides lead climbs on every continent.
See Phil Ershler’s Biography »

SUSAN ERSHLER is a speaker and former executive at Fortune 500 companies. One of the few women ever to complete the Seven Summits, she speaks professionally about pushing past perceived boundaries to pursue your greatest dreams.

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“Together on Top of the World” combines a first with a worthwhile achievement…”

Lew Freedman, Chicago Tribune

“By the time the couple reaches the top of the seventh peak — Everest — you feel as if you’ve climbed the mountain too…”

Sherry Grindeland, Seattle Times

“On May 16, 2002, Phil and Susan Ershler stood atop the highest mountain in the world. Theirs, too, is a story of overcoming great odds: Susan had only started climbing in her mid-30s, and Phil, a veteran climber (and the first American to reach the top of Everest from the north face), suffered from Crohn’s, a disease that would have kept most men on the ground their whole lives. When a cancer diagnosis threatened to end Phil’s mountain-climbing career, the Ershlers fought back the only way they knew how…”

American Library Association


“I read the book in just two sittings and I can’t count how many times I cried. As a mountaineer, I was especially impressed with Phil’s overcoming his numerous life-threatening health issues, and Sue’s perseverance to push herself beyond her established boundaries. But more than their first-ever athletic accomplishment, what I admire most about the Ershlers is the strength of their relationship that gave them the foundation to transform every setback into another goal that they reached together. I was inspired by their loving marriage and mutually supporting partnership and hope that all of us readers might find that depth of happiness in our lives.”

Aron Ralston, author of Between a Rock and Hard Place

“An amazing story of the triumph of love and determination.”

Nando Parrado, author of Miracle in the Andes: 72 Days on the Mountain and My Long Trek Home

“Phil Ershler is a world class climber and guide. Sue Ershler is a first class businesswoman. But their story is not just about climbing and business. It is about two people in love who switch leads in life’s hard climb. A great read-inside or outside a tent!”

Jim Whittaker, author of A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond and former CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)

“Phil and Susan’s astounding accomplishment of being the first couple to scale the Seven Summits is beautifully articulated and poignantly told in Together on Top of the World. Yet the even greater story of attaining their individual and collective inner figurative summits should be a marriage counselor’s primer of how two highly motivated, very independent people dedicated their love and support to one another throughout their respective major illness and career challenges, and achieved the ultimate fulfillment of becoming true soul mates!”

Dick Bass, first person to climb the Seven Summits

“An uplifting account of survival and achievement in the face of great adversity. A captivating story of love and adventure set amongst the world’s most challenging mountains.”

David Breashears, Expedition Leader, Everest IMAX Film

“Stunning…unbelievable…remarkable….one of the best books on sports that I have read…made me laugh…made me cry…high fived you guys on every victory (on the mountain or not)…felt your disappointment on every turnaround”…those would be the words I would describe how I felt about the book you and Sue have shared with the public if I was asked.

Jim Donald, Former CEO Starbucks

“Takes the reader to the mountain tops and into the depths of the human heart. It’s a powerful, inspiring, exciting, and beautiful story. A must read.”

Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica and Grayson

“Her book Together on top of the World is a must read”

Banner Bank, Senior Vice President

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