April 17, 2017
By: JLL Staff Writer
What does achieving ambitions look like? For Illina Frankiv, Project Manager Renewable Energy at JLL, it’s a view from 29,029 feet.
The project manager and mountaineer was recently featured in JLL’s Achieve Ambitions video campaign after she successfully summited Mt. Denali, the tallest mountain in North America.
Ain’t no mountain high enough
“The goal is to climb Everest in 2018, but there will be many more mountains in between. I’m a go getter, I don’t easily give up when I have a goal,” she said.
In January of this year she successfully summited Mt. Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America. It was right before that climb that Illina decided she didn’t want to just take on Everest–she wanted to climb the tallest summit on every continent (and take the JLL flag with her).
“Before I did Denali, I didn’t know if I wanted to pursue Everest or the 7 Summits,” she said. “It was right before I left for Argentina to climb Mt. Aconcagua, that I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to do this and make it official. And for me that meant saying it out loud and telling my climbing friends.”
Local media catches wind
Illina also got to share the exciting news with most of the San Francisco Bay Area. She was recently featured on the local KTVU FOX 2 television station where she talked about her plans to take on the 7 Summits with morning news anchors Gasia Mikaelin, Mike Mibach, and Sal Castaneda . You can read more about her plans at www.illina.com.
Odds stacked against her
Her journey will be no easy feat. In fact, according the official 7 Summits website, only 416 people in the world have successfully summited all seven mountains since it was first achieved in 1985. And of those, only 71 were women (just 17%).
“Mountain climbing is really a male dominated sport. A lot of times we have to buy men’s gear because many items are not made for women. Why can’t they just call those items unisex?” she laughed. “Part of the reason I’m doing this is to empower other women to achieve their goals. In the last two years I’ve moved from being a trainee to being a mentor for other women looking to learn how to climb. I’ve really loved being able to pass that knowledge on to someone else.”
Aside from overcoming the statistical odds, there’s a huge financial obligation involved with climbing the 7 Summits. Out of the seven mountains, Everest has the biggest price tag.
“I’ll have to raise $50,000 to climb Everest” said Illina. “As I will be climbing unguided, the money will go toward the logistical and operational support that I get from a team of Sherpanis and Sherpa, and also gear, food, and travel expenses. Part of my proceeds will also go toward a renewable energy project in Nepal to help their rebuilding efforts after the 2015 earthquake.”
Next up, Kilimanjaro & Everest
She won’t be climbing the mountains in height order though. Everest will be her fourth climb of the seven and she plans to complete it in May of 2018.
“The whole motivation behind Everest is that I just accomplished two of the hardest climbs (Mt. Denali and Mt. Aconcagua) and they were doable,” said Illina. “It gave me more motivation to attempt Everest sooner rather than leaving it to the end.”
Stay tuned for more as we follow Illina on her exciting journey to make history! She’ll be documenting her experience through video and we’ll keep you posted on her progress in upcoming blog posts.
The order in which she’ll climb each mountain is below:
1. Mount Denali (North America) 20,310 feet – summited
2. Mount Aconcagua (South America) 22,841 feet – summited
3. Mount Kilimanjaro (Africa) 19,341 feet
4. Mount Everest (Asia) 29,029 feet
5. Mount Elbrus (Europe) 18,510 feet
6. Mount Kosciuszko (Australia) 7,310 feet
7. Mount Vinson (Antarctica) 16,050 feet