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From Olympus to Everest: The First Successful Greek Expedition
From Olympus to Everest: The First Successful Greek Expedition
05.06.2014 19.00 h
The Ithacan Philanthropic Society - Melbourne


Presenter: Spiros Soulis
Entry: Free


The presentation will try and capture the journey that led to the success of the 2004 Everest expedition. The idea born from a friendship between Spiros Soulis and Pavlos Angelatos, the work of putting a team together, the tragedy of Cho Oyu and ultimately the desire to continue.  How from failure we are able to gain the greatest success.

Also, the presentation will look at logistics to put together such an expedition, and my role as manger to keep things under control and allow the climbers to focus on the mountain.  It will also explore why past expeditions had failed. The idea that large and dangerous undertakings require teamwork as well as safe and clear contingency plans.  And how the luck of the Gods also goes a long way to success.  


Spiros Soulis was born and raised in Melbourne; he attended both the local primary and high school, where he was heavily involved in student politics being SRC president and a member of the school council.  This commitment to student rights continued into University where he was President of the Student Union, while studying a degree in youth work. 

After completing his studies, he traveled to the US to work as a senior counselor and upon his return worked for a short period in what is now called the Melbourne Juvenile Justice Center (previously known as Turana).  In about 1994 he left for Greece and joined the Greek army with the intention of staying in Greece for a while... for a while ended up being 11 years, which is where he discovered and fell in love with the mountains of Greece as well as the intoxicating lifestyle.

In 2002 he helped set up the Olenos mountaineering club in Patra and led countless mountaineering trips throughout Greece, Europe and Nepal.  However it was in 2003 that the opportunity arose to organize an expedition to Everest.  Totally committing a year to the project, Spiros and the team set off in March 2004 to what turned out to be the most successful expedition in Greek mountaineering history. 

Upon arriving back in Australia in 2006 he worked in number of different jobs but for the last 4 years has been at RMIT University as a senior advisor in Learning and Teaching.  For the last three years climbing has remained on hold, as together with his wife Yianna they are currently busy raising their two children Orestes (5) and Melina (2).


We would like to thank Vasso Zangalis for sponsoring tonight’s lecture. Such initiatives assist us in providing these lectures free to the public. If you would like to participate as a sponsor from as little as $100 please send us an email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

We would also like to thank our corporate sponsor:

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The Ithacan Philanthropic Society   -   Website
Level 2, 329 Elizabeth Street
Country: au

In October 1916, the Ithacan migrants of Melbourne established the ITHACAN PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY "The Ulysses", with an inaugural membership of some 153 members. This was in response to pleas for aid from their loved ones in Ithaca who were suffering deprivation during the First World War.

Over the years, however, the Society has been much more than just a philanthropic institution. It has been a constant in the lives of the early Ithacan migrants replacing the homeland which they had left.

The Society takes an active role in the cultural, social, educational and quality of life interests of the Ithacan Community. The Society, as part of its philanthropic role, also makes many monetary contributions to worthy causes, including those outside the immediate Ithacan community. The Society celebrated its 90th Anniversary in 2006.

Alphington Grammar Koinotika Nea - the Greek Community newsletter Requirements for Greek Citizenship