Patricia Alcivar, who was born in Woodside, has already climbed three major mountains, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Elbrus in Russia, and Aconcagua in Argentina.
There are four other peaks still on her list, which include the legendary Everest in the Himalayas and Denali in Alaska, which Alcivar has already attempted once.
While climbing Denali, Alcivar was caught in a seven-day blizzard on the mountain, which she said was the scariest moment of her life.
“There are these holes on the mountain that if you fall in, you’re not coming back” Alcivar said. “We had to come down because of that blizzard. We ran out of food and ran out of time.”
She used that climb as a teaching moment, saying the mountain has taught her the importance of patience.
“I know that I cannot will myself through a storm,” Alcivar said. “It's on the mountain’s terms, not on my terms.”
She said that there is an element of spirituality that comes into play when hiking these massive mountains, and she has visualized arriving at the summit many times throughout her climbing experiences.
“When everything else is not in your favor on the mountain, I push myself even more,” Alcivar said. “You need some belief in faith because that’s what’s going to get you to the top.”
Five years ago, Alcivar was a professional boxer, but after taking too many brutal hits she took some time off, which is when her friend took on her first climb at Mount Superior in Utah.
Her friend was not expecting Alcivar to climb all the way to the top.
“While I was up there, I just felt the beauty of that experience,” she said. “I knew that this is my calling. This is what I absolutely must do.”
She attributes some of her climbing will to growing up in Queens, and said a real New Yorker “just won’t give up.”
“That describes my whole personality,” she said. “I’ve grown up in some harsh conditions, and that definitely helps me on the mountain.”
Alcivar said she wants to educate people about climbing and inspire other young girls to be able to shoot for the same high peaks.
“Every person has their own mountain,” Alcivar said. “Some people’s mountains can be something personal, like losing weight or fighting depression, and all those things are worth fighting for.”