Conrad Anker is a mountain climber, rock climber, and author. Having spent his life pushing the limits of mountaineering, he's appreciated for his resiliency in the face of adversity and for his path-breaking approach to big mountain climbing. Anker has been a significant part of the climbing community, having served as the team leader of The North Face climbing team for 26 years until 2018.
From his early days in California, Anker developed a deep appreciation for the outdoors. He climbed Mount Rainier by the age of 16 and later pursued his passion for climbing while studying at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. There, he worked at a mountaineering store and met his first climbing mentor, the late Mugs Stump. Anker and his climbing partner, the late Alex Lowe, set speed records in the Himalayas and Antarctica, making significant contributions to the field in the 90's.
Anker's career includes several notable ascents and expeditions in Alaska, Utah, Patagonia, Antarctica, and Nepal/Tibet. In 2011, he completed the first ascent of Meru Shark’s Fin in India with partners Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, an accomplishment that inspired the award-winning documentary, Meru. Anker has also climbed Everest three times, including a 2012 trip with National Geographic to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of the mountain. His most recognized Everest climb occurred in 1999 when he located the remains of George Mallory, a British climber who died attempting Everest in 1924. This discovery helped to shed light on one of mountaineering’s most famous mysteries.
In more than 25 years of expeditions to Nepal, Anker has formed deep connections with the Sherpa people and co-founded the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse, Nepal. This institution provides high-altitude workers with a variety of safety training courses. However, Anker's mountain exploration took a pause in 2016 when he suffered a heart attack during an attempted ascent of Lunag Ri, resulting in his decision to retire from high-altitude mountaineering.
Now residing in Bozeman, Montana, Anker has turned his focus to writing and public speaking. He has co-authored the book "The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest" with David Roberts and has written numerous articles for the American Alpine Journal. He has been featured in several documentary films, including Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure, Light of the Himalaya, The Endless Knot, The Wildest Dream, Meru, National Parks Adventure, Lunag Ri, Black Ice, and Torn. Anker's contribution to mountaineering has been recognized with several awards, including the Simon Scott-Harden Award for Environmental Design Excellence, the David A Brower Award, the George Mallory Award, the Golden Piton Award for Lifetime Achievement, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Utah, and the Jack Roberts Lifetime Achievements Award.
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