First Ascent Everest Expedition Climbing Team
Meet the climbers as they attempt the South Col Route on Mount Everest
This year GreatOutdoors.com Everest correspondent Ed Viesturs is attempting Mount Everest via the South Col route with a very strong First Ascent Everest Expedition. The climb is part of First Ascent’s strategy to launch a new line of outdoor clothing in the mold of Eddie Bauer’s down gear that protected the climbers on the first successful American ascent of the mountain in 1963. The climbers are testing the new gear as they attempt the highest mountain in the world.
GreatOutdoors.com Everest correspondent Ed Viesturs is perhaps America’s best known high altitude mountaineer. With his successful ascent of Annapurna in 2007, Ed became the first American to replicate Reinhold Messner’s feat of climbing all of the world’s 8,000 meter peaks without supplemental oxygen. Ed has reached the summit of Everest six times, including the tragic season of 1997 with eight climbers were killed in a sudden storm while Ed was working with an IMAX film crew. Ed is hoping for a seventh summit in eleven attempts this year, and he once again will climb without oxygen.
World renowned guide and long time GreatOutdoors.com adventure correspondent, Dave has made his mark both in the world of climbing and guiding. He has been to the summit of Everest ten times, more so than any non-Sherpa climber. That feat is more amazing when one considers that on most of those ascents, he has been guiding at least one client. Dave guides all over the world, on Mount Rainier, Denali, Everest, and both the Vinson Massif and the Shackleton Crossing in Antarctica. Dave is the recipient of the David Sowles award for bravery, and for abandoning his own attempt, in his rescue of climbers high on the Tibet side of Everest.
Climber, guide and businessman Peter Whittaker is known best for Rainier Mountaineering Incorporated. RMI is one of the most successful mountain guide operations in North America, guiding on Mount Rainier, Denali and a host of other locations. Peter’s famous uncle is Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest. His famous father, Lou Whittaker, nurtured RMI into the powerhouse it is today, and climbed hard routes throughout the Himalaya, including the North Face of Mount Everest. Peter has not yet climbed Mount Everest, but that could change over the course of the expedition.
A native of Montana, Melissa summited Everest last year, and this year hopes to reach the top without oxygen. An instructor in wilderness medecine, she became a professional mountain guide on Mount Rainier in 2004.
Chad began his guiding career in Alaska more than ten years ago. A native of North Carolina who now calls Colorado home, Chad currently works as a lead guide for Rainier Mountaineering. Chad has a specialty in teaching ice climbing in Ouray.
Seth is a climbing guide on Rainier, Kilimanjaro and Denali , helping clients to an experience they could not reach by themselves. In winter, he ski patrols at Crystal Mountain, near Mount Rainier.