Greg Harris is taking on Everest // Secret Life

Greg Harris
Meet the securities lawyer who climbs to new heights

By Braden Alexander

On Tuesday September 9th, 2014


Greg HarrisGreg Harris

Harris + Harris LLP

“Pushing yourself close to the edge makes you appreciate your everyday life a little more,” says the man who’s been about as close to the edge as it gets. Corporate securities lawyer Greg Harris has climbed the highest peaks on five continents, and he’s on a mission to finish the final two before his 50th — that means Mount Vinson in Antarctica this November and Everest in 2015.

For Harris, mountaineering offers balance to his job as head of his own business law boutique. “I need something where I’m completely off the grid, where I can re-energize and re-focus.”

To train for his climbs, the Toronto lawyer caps his 15-hour work days with a trip to Casa Loma, where he dons 55 pounds of hiking gear and hits the stairs at Spadina and Davenport. Before a big climb, he spends a month sleeping in an altitude chamber, preparing his lungs for the lack of oxygen at 14,000-plus feet.

Harris says the sacrifices he makes to be on the mountain — weeks away from his wife and teenage sons, close calls on dangerous slopes, even a frozen retina one particularly cold night — they’re all worth it. “The view that you get from the top of a mountain is unbelievably emotional. You’ve accomplished something. You can’t go any higher.”

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Behind-the-scenes at the photoshoot 

Photography by Daniel Ehrenworth; hair and makeup by Annastasia Cucullo