Gregory Crouch graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, with a degree in military history, completed Airborne and Ranger Schools, and served as a light infantry platoon leader before leaving the Army to pursue more adventurous interests, most notably in the arena of international alpine mountain climbing. He developed a particular obsession with the storm-swept peaks of Patagonia, and has made seven expeditions to those remote mountains.
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Along the way he became a writer, and his work has appeared in National Geographic (“Stone Cold Ascent,” 3/00, and “Caves of Oman,” 4/03), Outside, National Geographic Adventure, American History, Climbing, and many others. He is a senior contributing editor at Climbing. His book, Enduring Patagonia (Random House), was chosen for the Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” program.
Enduring Patagonia chronicles one man’s obsession with the beautiful and terrible mountains of Patagonia, which Crouch says, “might be our planet’s most perfect mountains.” In Enduring Patagonia, Crouch explores the world of cutting-edge alpinism and takes us along on his many notable Patagonian climbs, including the first winter ascent of Cerro Torre’s legendary west face. His vivid accounts of ice, storms, and gravity illustrate the crucial alpine balance between physical danger and mental agility.
Finding the same harsh discipline in climbing that he sought, but ultimately rejected, as a West Point cadet and as an Army officer after graduation, Crouch also writes about the lessons one learns by going to the limit – lessons about leadership, patience, risk, failure, endurance, and courage.
Greg’s presentation: Enduring Patagonia: The Winter West Face
Cerro Torre’s remote and treacherous West Face rises from the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap. It is one of the most coveted modern alpine climbs, holding a position similar to that once occupied by the North Face of the Eiger. After a month-long campaign battling extreme cold, notorious Patagonian gales, and dangerous alpine terrain, Gregory Crouch and three Swiss partners, made its first winter ascent. Crouch’s account of that climb appeared in the March, 2000 issue of National Geographic.
Rather than attempting an overview of his many Patagonian adventures, in his Winter West Face presentation Greg chooses to tell – with vivid narrative detail and National Geographic caliber photography – the full story of this one, grueling expedition made in the coldest and darkest month of the austral winter. During this expedition, four peripherally acquainted people were able to overcome hugely different individual motivations and an immense language barrier and coalesce into a unified team. After several difficult weeks and one nearly-crushing failure, they found success – and survival – in the face of some of the most outrageous natural obstacles on earth.
With his West Point background and extensive real world experience, Greg is able to translate the expeditionary metaphors – among them teamwork, communication, problem solving, persistence, opportunism, risk-taking, endurance, and leadership – into lessons applicable to all of our lives.
Some example shows given:
National Geographic Society, 2002
Greg gave his Enduring Patagonia: The Winter West Face presentation as part of the National Geographic Society’s prestigious “Quest for Adventure” series. His first presentation sold out Grovenor Auditorium, and a second show was added.
“What an outstanding presentation! Greg really hit a home run with our audience. He’s extremely engaging. He had the audience on the edge of their seats.”
— Greg McGruder, Director of Lectures and Public Programs, National Geographic Society
University of the South, 2003
“What a show! I thought it would be good, but Crouch trumped my expectations. Crouch can weave a tale like no one I’ve ever met. Our students and faculty ate it up and were either rolling in the aisles with laughter or struck dumb with amazement. The whole campus is still talking about it. The students were awed by the frighteningly gorgeous pictures of the Patagonian winter. The fact that Crouch has a book out, Enduring Patagonia, truly validates his riotous descriptions of the kind of adventures some would like to have and most would just love to hear about. Crouch’s show created a ton of momentum for our outdoor program.”
— John Benson, Director, Outdoor Program, University of the South
Endeavor Talent Agency, company retreat
“Amazing and inspiring. Greg’s an excellent communicator.”
– Tom Strickler
“One of the best speakers we’ve ever had. Greg’s energy is contagious.”
– Gary Neptune