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Conrad Anker

Conrad is a living legend, having spent his life pushing the limits of big mountain climbing and exploring places unknown.  As one of America’s best alpinists with many first ascents across the world, he’s known for his visionary approach to mountaineering and his ability to withstand hardship. 

He came to climbing by way of his family, learning a deep appreciation for the outdoors from his California childhood. He’d climbed Mount Rainier by the time he was 16. He met his first climbing mentor, the late iconic climber Mugs Stump, while studying at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and working in a mountaineering store. Conrad and the late Alex Lowe–his climbing partner and best friend–went on to become climbing’s rock stars in the 90’s, setting speed records in the Himalaya and Antarctica. 

Conrad’s career has included several breakthrough moments that reached a global audience.  In 2011 he completed the long-awaited first ascent of the Meru Shark’s Fin in India with partners Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk, which inspired the Sundance-winning documentary, Meru. Conrad 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 his most famous Everest climb in 1999, he 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. 

But for many years, one of his greatest passions has been down in the valley—specifically the Khumbu Valley of Nepal. In more than 25 years of expeditions to Nepal, Conrad and his wife, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, have developed deep relationships with the Sherpa people and founded the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse, Nepal, which provides a variety of safety training courses to high altitude workers.

While he’s hardly slowed down, the Bozeman, Montana-based father of three has made a priority of writing and speaking about the outdoor experiences that have shaped him, and is an active philanthropist and mentor that strives to make the outdoors an attainable place for all.