Married; wife's name Susan. Education: Graduate of Whitman College.
Home—Kirkland, WA. Office—International Mountain Guides, 30416 State Rd. 706 E., Ashford, WA 98304.
Mountaineering guide and instructor; writer.
American Alpine Club, American Mountain Guides Association.
(With wife, Susan Ershler, and Robin Simons) Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits: A Saga of Love and Courage (memoir), Warner Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Mountaineer Phil Ershler began guiding and instructing climbers on Mount Rainier in the state of Washington when he was still in college. Upon graduation, he became a full-time guide, and his trips with groups have taken him to six continents. Ershler was the first American to make the ascent of the north face of Mount Everest in 1984. He has survived several physical threats, including Crohn's disease and cancer, but they never stopped him from climbing, because that is when he feels at his best. Because of his remarkable attitude, he is a sought-after motivational speaker, as well as guide.
When Ershler met his wife, Susan, she was in sales, and her favorite pastimes included water skiing and boating. Ershler learned to water ski, and Susan learned to climb. Together, they were the first married couple to climb the Seven Summits when, on May 16, 2002, they completed their climb of Mount Everest. They wrote Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits: A Saga of Love and Courage, about their personal lives, his ability to become more open about his illnesses, and their love of climbing. Each spouse provides a separate narrative, which is distinguished by its own typeface.
In reviewing the book for the Seattle Times Online, Sherry Grindeland noted that the book "details not just their treks to the tops of mountains but their adjustment to married life."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Ershler, Phil, Susan Ershler, and Robin Simons, Together on Top of the World: The Remarkable Story of the First Couple to Climb the Fabled Seven Summits: A Saga of Love and Courage, Warner Books (New York, NY), 2007.
Booklist, March 15, 2007, David Pitt, review of Together on Top of the World, p. 16.
Everest Speakers Bureau Web site,http://www.everestspeakersbureau.com/ (December 20, 2007), profile.
Seattle Times Online,http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ (December 20, 2007), Sherry Grindeland, review of Together on Top of the World.