ExplorersBio

Conrad Anker

Climber

Expeditions Council Grantee

Photo: Conrad Anker

Photograph by Cory Richards

Photo: Portrait of Conrad Anker

Photograph by Karine Aigner

Follow Conrad Anker on a two-month expedition that seeks to repeat the historic climb of the 1963 National Geographic-sponsored American Mount Everest Expedition, almost 50 years after that first American ascent.

Conrad Anker’s specialty, simply put, is climbing the most technically challenging terrain in the world. This quest has taken him from the mountains of Alaska and Antarctica to the big walls of Patagonia and Baffin Island and the massive peaks of the Himalaya. Anker’s Antarctic experience spans a decade, with first ascents in three regions. In 1997, Anker teamed up with Alex Lowe and Jon Krakauer to climb Rakekniven, a 2,500-foot wall in Queen Maud Land. In the Sentinel Range, Anker climbed the Vinson Massif via three new routes. His climbs in Pakistan’s Karakoram include the west face of Latok II along the “Tsering Mosong” route, which begins at the same height as the summit of Denali, climbs 26 pitches on a vertical cliff, and then tops out at 23,342 feet. In 1998, Anker and Peter Croft made a first ascent of Spansar Peak via a 7,000-foot ridge in one day. In Patagonia, he climbed the three towers of the Cerro Torre Massif. On Yosemite’s El Capitan he joined Steve Gerberding and Kevin Thaw to establish “Continental Drift,” a steep nail-up on the right side. And in Zion National Park, Mugs Stump and Anker first climbed the intimidating “Streaked Wall.”

In May 1999, as a member of the Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition, Anker discovered the body of George Mallory, the preeminent Everest explorer of the 1920s. The disappearance of Mallory and Sandy Irvine on their summit bid in June 1924 is one of climbing’s great mysteries, and Anker’s discovery and analysis of the find has shed new light on the pioneering climbs of the early expeditions. Anker again reached the summit of Everest on June 14, 2007, while filming a documentary about George Mallory called The Wildest Dream, in theaters August 2010 and now on DVD.

Sponsored by The North Face and Timex and active in numerous charitable causes, Anker serves on the board of the Conservation Alliance, the Rowell Fund for Tibet, and the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation. “My involvement with these organizations is intrinsically rewarding,” Anker says. “It’s among the most important work I do. It feels good to be able to give back to our community of humans and the natural world." He lives and climbs in Bozeman, Montana, with his wife, Jennifer, and has three sons, Max, Sam, and Isaac.

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Adventure

In Their Words

I'm glad to be part of Everest and be part of the history and to share that with people. To say it's for the experts only would be a little bit elitist.

—Conrad Anker

Spotlight

  • Photo: Climbers headlamps are seen near the peak of Everest at night.

    2012 Expedition

    Follow Conrad Anker and the team as they retrace the 1963 American expedition with photos, videos, and blog posts.

Photos

  • Photo: Team of climbers on Everest

    Everest Photos

    See a selection of unique Everest photos, from early climbs to recent expeditions.

Videos

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    Vimeo Channel

    Watch videos and learn more about Conrad Anker's adventures.

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