November 11, 1999

Intro
Meet the Team
March 31, 1999
April 2, 1999
April 5, 1999
April 8, 1999
April 11, 1999
April 19, 1999
April 21, 1999
April 25, 1999
April 27, 1999
April 30, 1999
May 2, 1999
May 4, 1999
May 5, 1999
May 6, 1999
May 14, 1999
May 15, 1999
May 17, 1999
May 19, 1999
May 22, 1999

Meet the Team

(Note: Nationalgeographic.com does not research or edit dispatches.)

Pete Athans, Expedition Leader

Among climbers, Pete Athans is a household name. The leader of the Everest Millennium Expedition has spent the past 15 years climbing in the Himalayas, but it’s on Everest where he’s made his mark: with five successful round trips to the summit, no Western climber has more. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that during the early and middle ’90s, the so-called golden age of guided climbing on Everest, he helped to lead almost 30 clients to the top of Everest as a guide for Alpine Ascents International.

During the spring of 1997, Athans served as cameraman/filmmaker on the award-winning NOVA film, “Into the Death Zone.” The project featured climbers Ed Viesturs and David Breashears, and was written by WGBH’s Leisl Clark. Athans also worked on the feature film, “Seven Years in Tibet.”

In addition to his 12 expeditions and five successful summits on Everest, Athans has also led expeditions to Makalu, Manaslu and K2. He climbed a new route, alpine style, on Annapurna South. He has also climbed Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, and Pumori.

Pete Athans is one of the few Western high-altitude climbers whose interest in Sherpa culture runs as deep as his interest in the mountains of Nepal. With a solid command of the Nepali language gained over the past 15 years, Athans has grown close to the Sherpa people of Nepal, and put that affection to good use: In 1991, he spearheaded the organization of the 1991 Sherpa Everest Expedition and documented the event for ESPN and National Geographic Magazine.

Athans took an active role in the rescue of climbers marooned at Mount Everest’s Camp IV during the tragic events of May 10 and 11, 1996. More than a year later, in 1997, the American Alpine club granted Athans the David Sowles Award for his part in the rescue. The Sowles Award is the AAC’s highest award, conferred on climbers who distinguish themselves, through personal risk or the sacrifice of a major objective, in assisting fellow climbers.

A graduate of the University of Colorado, Athans currently guides independently, as well as for such organizations as Alpine Ascents International and Exum Guide Service. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, with his wife.

Charles Corfield, Climber

This spring is Charles’ fourth expedition to Everest and sixth climb in the Khumbu region. He is an expat Brit who now lives in California, where, he notes, it does not rain nearly enough. He got the bug for climbing out of an early formative experience with army instructors on a wet and slippery crag in the Pennines (UK), where he learned that army boots were not quite up to 5.8 routes.

Undeterred, Corfield racked up a number of ascents, mostly at night, while at college in Cambridge, England, perfecting aesthetic improvements to the ancient buildings, which the original architects had somehow overlooked.

Charles has climbed around the globe including Alaska, the Andes, Antarctica, the Sierras, and the Himalayas. In December 1997 he was on a successful winter ascent of Ama Dablam, which overlooks the trekking route into Everest Base Camp.

This is his third cybercast expedition, and he is looking forward to an online reunion with correspondents who followed last year’s expedition, as well as to more offers of barbecues in Kansas City, coffee and beignets in New Orleans, and fielding science questions from classrooms around the world.

Bill Crouse, Climber

Bill Crouse, 35, has been a regional sales manager for The North Face for almost five years. He’s been climbing ever since his high school days in Cupertino, California. The Everest Millennium Expedition is his seventh trip to Nepal since 1989, and his first to Everest. Previous expeditions include attempts on Annapurna 1, Pumori, Ama Dablam, Lhotse and various trekking peaks of Nepal. Crouse has summitted Denali five times and made the third ascent of the Scott Haston South Face route in 1987. His climbing credits include multiple wall ascents in Yosemite, Zion, and Washington State’s Cascades. Crouse lives in Carbondale, Colorado.

— Peter Potterfield, The Mountain Zone

Everest Main