Elia Saikaly is an award-winning adventure filmmaker and high-altitude mountaineer. His global adventures inspire others to find their most meaningful life and spark positive change. Having reached the summit of Mount Everest four times (a Canadian record), scaled the world’s second tallest peak, and completed over 18 high-altitude expeditions, Saikaly has proven he has the determination, stamina, skill, resourcefulness, and vision required to meet the greatest of challenges. Through his extraordinary keynotes, he shows audiences how to find the courage and strength to live their dreams, embrace the unknown, and make a difference.
On May 22, 2013, Saikaly stood on top of the world for the second time. Not only did he climb to the summit of Mount Everest, he shot a reality television series, Everest: On the Top, which garnered him a CINE Golden Eagle Award. Saikaly and his team have also won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Sports Program for Home and Really Far Away in 2015, Aaron Sanchez: Limitless in 2018, and for Anything is Possible in 2021, Saikaly also co-created and co-starred in Discover Canada television series and branded content campaign, Unclimbed: Reaching the Summit.
In 2014, 2015, and 2019, Saikaly survived the two deadliest seasons on Mount Everest, which claimed the lives of over 40 climbers. He broke his back in a paragliding accident while piloting solo in Nepal and, against all odds, recovered after dragging himself off of a roof. Resilience, perseverance, post traumatic stress, and the power of the human spirit are but some of the themes explored though Saikaly’s experiences and presentations.
The adventurer, who speaks both English and French, spends much of his time working in partnership with charities, such as The Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada, Moving Mountains Trust, Under the Same Sun, Nepal School Projects, and Child Haven International. His work and imagery have been featured on National Geographic, Discovery, ESPN, HBO, PBS, BBC, and many other prominent media outlets.
Saikaly is currently working on two documentaries, one that shares the story of the disastrous season on Mount Everest in 2019, and the other on the disappearance of teammates John Snorri, Ali Sadpara, and Chilean climber JP Mohr on K2.