Elia Saikaly, a high-altitude mountaineer always with camera in hand, is prominent for adventure films, “Everest: On the Top“, “Home and Really Far Away“, and “Anything is Possible.” An award-winning filmmaker, Saikaly summited the top of the world, Everest, five times, being the first and only Canadian. Not only summited, but Elia also survived, as well as captured disastrous events on Everest in 2014, 2015, and 2019 in his camera. In 2021, Saikaly summited the 2nd tallest mountain on Earth, K2, a.k.a. Savage Mountain.
Elia Saikaly’s Bio
Ottawa, Ontario, native Elia Saikaly was born in 1978. He holds Canadian nationality. His father was Lebanese, born in Lebanon.
At the age of 17, Elia broke the deadlift world record for his age/weight by lifting 525 lbs.
Career: How A Film-maker Landed On Everest
Since 1999, Elia Saikaly has been working in the video production industry. In 2005, he was offered to shoot a documentary on Dr. Sean Egan, who aspired to become the oldest Canadian to summit Mt. Everest. Unfortunately, Egan passed away during production.
With less to no climbing experience, Elia Saikaly, however, felt passionate about climbing the world’s highest peak, Mount Everest (8848.86m). Nevertheless, his lifelong commitment to fitness aided him in the process. He decided to climb in honor of later Dr. Sean Egan and finish the film they set out to create. After the moment, Saikaly is into mountaineering / high-altitude filmmaking.
Did Elia succeed on the first attempt? NO!!! On 22nd May 2010, after two unsuccessful attempts and five years of an emotional journey, Elia finally reached the top of Everest.
The expedition led Saikaly to travel to Nepal over 15 times, working with students worldwide on interactive learning adventures on Everest. This led him to connect with brands such as Google, UnderArmour, and broadcasters worldwide.
And what? He rose to fame for his time-lapse and summit footage, which he sought after his networks worldwide, from Discovery to ESPN to the BBC and many more.
He survived both Everest avalanches in 2014 and 2015.
His projects are focused on humanitarian work. He has already been a part of Earthquake relief projects, post-COVID, and projects for the welfare of Sherpa people with the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation of Canada.
One of his film projects: a series with Discovery Channel called Unclimbed – Reaching the Summit, cast one of Saikaly’s friends Pasang Kaji Sherpa as a co-star in the show.
Not only in Nepal, but he also aids Indigenous people in Canada, the Peuls people of the Sahara in Niger, Syrian Refugees in Lebanon, persons with albinism in Africa, the Dinka and Nuer in South Sudan, and whatnot.
Also a motivational speaker, Elia Saikaly has presented numerous times in corporations and organizations, including high schools and Universities. His main motive is to elevate, inspire, and help improve the world.
Personal Life: Is Elia Saikaly Married?
Elia Saikaly’s personal life is under the shade. It is unknown if the best adventure filmmaker is married or not. But yes, back in 2016, while recounting his Nepal’s 2015 Earthquake experience and emotional recovery, Saikaly said he had a fiancée and a 12-year-old boy at home in media.
An entirely confidential person, Saikaly’s social accounts are full of his professional pieces of stuff.
If your spirit can believe it and your mind can conceive it, your body will do it.
– Elia Saikaly