Conrad Anker is one of the most prolific explorers and mountaineers living today. Among his most well-known accomplishments, Anker achieved the long-awaited first ascent of the Meru Shark’s Fin (6,310 meters) in India with partners Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk in 2011. Anker has climbed Everest three times, including a 2012 trip with National Geographic to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of the mountain. On another trip to Everest, in 1999, Anker discovered the remains of George Mallory, one of the two British climbers who died attempting Everest in 1924, helping to shed more light on one of mountaineering’s most famous mysteries.
Anker is the only team member who has previously visited Antarctica. In fact, this is his 12th trip to the continent. With Alex Lowe and Jon Krakauer, Anker was part of a National Geographic expedition to Queen Maud Land in 1996-97, which was subsequently featured in the February 1998 issue of the magazine. This article sparked the imaginations of an entire generation of explorers, including several of the members of this trip.
Anker recently sustained a heart attack while climbing in the Himalaya in November 2016. While he has made a full recovery, this is his first expedition since that scare. He says his goal is to pass on decades of expedition wisdom to the youngest members of his team, and perhaps even reach some summits with them, too.
- Age: 55
- Years climbing: 40+
- Number of expeditions: 50+
- Nat Geo Expeditions