Sunday, July 18, 2010

Every so often, you get a chance to meet one of your Conrad Anker.

Over the years, the most heroic folks we've ever met share one thing in common...gentleness and humility. What an honour and a privilege it was to attend a lecture, hosted at REI in Seattle, featuring Conrad Anker, arguably the most accomplished mountaineer of our generation. Anker's ascents include the most difficult and challenging places in the world in locations such as Patagonia, Antarctica, and Mount Everest in the Himalayas. The list of his awe-inspiring adventures is endless. He survived a massive avalanche on the 1999 Shishapangma (Tibet) Expedition that, tragically, took the life of his best friend, Alex Lowe. That same year, Conrad Anker was the climber who discovered the body of legendary English climber, George Mallory, who died high on Everest in 1924.
Mountaineering and climbing journals and magazines describe in detail Conrad's extraordinary accomplishments. His specialty is climbing the most technically challenging terrain in the world. A very personal glimpse, however, is revealed in Forget Me Not: A Memoir, one of the most moving and inspiring books either Joan or I have ever read, written by his wife, Jennifer Lowe-Anker.
Conrad was in town to talk about the new National Geographic film, in which the story of George Herbert Leigh Mallory is told and in which Conrad is featured. When The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest comes to an IMAX theatre near you, you might want to check it out. I think you'll be moved, thrilled, and inspired.
Conrad signed our poster with these words: "With kindness and compassion".  A deeply caring and gentle person, he very much reflects those words with his warm eyes and easy smile. A respected author, explorer, and environmental activist, he is clearly one of the most accomplished and courageous mountaineers and alpinists of all time. I have a sense, however, that he would never admit to that.

Conrad Anker's website can be found here.

PS Sea kayaker enthusiasts can also read about Conrad's Baffin Island climbing and sea kayaking expedition with legendary paddler, Jon Turk, here.


  1. Fascinating! Just spent half an hour on Conrad's site. Amazing what people are able to climb up.His blog is enjoyable and well may have some competition there Duncan.
    Happy travels!

  2. Thanks for your comment, L. You truly would have enjoyed the evening and wish you could have been there with us. He's just the kind of inspiration that folks need when they take on a goal like you have - just thinking about his courage and commitment is what would make your upcoming 56 km event "melt" away. Always glad to know you're checking in. D & J

  3. Lucky you two to hear Conrad speak, we can't wait to see the film. Super nice pic! Gen.

  4. Thanks Gen, you can bet that it'll be "coming to a theatre near you" soon! D.

  5. Well, what a surprise...yet another interest in common! For years I read every book I could about Everest and climbing & was proud to be called an armchair mountaineer. The characters that populate the climbing world are fascinating people and Anker I'm sure is one of them.

  6. He certainly is, a most impressive individual! I'm always struck by the humility of folks like Conrad. Pretty inspiring. Thanks for stopping by, Jill.