2:45PM - KEYNOTE SESSION: HIGHER THAN EVEREST
3:30PM - LIMITLESS: BECOMING SUPERHUMAN
Ben Yehuda is leading mountaineering and photography projects all over the world as a distinguished athlete and explorer, with a focus on winter climbs, high altitude expeditions and technical ice routes - and he is considered as the most accomplished Israeli mountaineer in history, growing to be called "The mountain rescuer of the nation".
Looking back at his Himalayan endeavors, Ben Yehuda (28) have led more than 15 climbing projects in the Himalayas - among them 5 to 8,000m mountains, and the first Israeli ascent of Annapurna I, the deadliest mountain on the planet. In other projects around the world, Nadav performed the highest chess game in history, and made the first Israeli winter ascents of Montblanc and Elbrus in the harsh conditions of minus 58 degrees of the Russian winter.
In 2012, Nadav was attempting to scale Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. During the night of the summit, he found another climber from Turkey lying unconscious inside a crack in the ice, at an altitude of 8,550m above sea level. Though less than 300 meters from the peak of Everest, Ben Yehuda turned his back on the prize to rescue this other climber, forsaking the opportunity to become the youngest Israeli ever to conquer the world’s highest summit. Nadav got severely injured during the rescue, and still struggles towards recovery. For these actions, he was awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor from Israel President Shimon Peres.
In 2014, Ben Yehuda led a successful two-month expedition in Tibet, to climb two mountains above 8,000m in a single season - a project that was fully dedicated to support and spread the Organ Donation cause across the world. On his way back to Israel, Nadav was called by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and stayed in Nepal due to the notorious deadly blizzard that struck the most visited trekking routes of the country - and led rescue missions across the great Himalayan ranges of Annapurna, Langtang and Everest. In 2015, Nadav led the joint forces of the Embassy of Nepal in Israel by Coordinating rescue missions and humanitarian support, while filling key positions in the International investigation of the Israeli MOFA for locating and tracing missing Israeli citizens during the major earthquakes and humanitarian crisis in Nepal.
Throughout the years, Nadav was recognized for his accomplishments in many ways. Among those - He was awarded a Presidential Medal of Honor from the Israeli President, and received honorary diplomatic positions from the government of Nepal. Nadav was awarded a Citation Award from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and received an honorary degree from the President of Florida International University. Nadav was awarded a medal from the Mayor and the Districts Commission of the city of Miami, and he received the title of the Best Athlete by the Israeli Sports Association; Nadav was chosen by Forbes magazine for the list of most influential people under 30, and was honoured in dozens of other occasions for his accomplishments in Mountaineering, Alpinism, Mountain Rescues, Photography, Diplomacy and Social Activism.
Ben Yehuda continues to lead mountaineering and photography projects globally, pushing boundaries as an Israeli athlete and explorer; He leads the ice climbing national progress as the head of the Israeli Alpine Community; And speaks in front of thousands of people around the world every month – about Mountains, Ethics, Professionalism – and everything in between.