Peter Athans: Himalayan Mountaineer and Motivational Speaker
Perhaps the most successful and modest American Everest Climber ever, Peter Athans is known in some circles simply as “Mr. Everest”. Since 1985, He has led 15 expeditions, attempted five different routes from the Tibetan and Nepalese sides of the mountain and on seven occasions has attained the summit, more than any other western climber.
His most recent accomplishment was leading the 2002 National Geographic Everest Expedition, filming a special two-hour program celebrating fifty years of Everest exploration to be released next April. Peter was accompanied by the sons of Famous Everest Climbers Barry Bishop, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay Sherpa in what is certain to be a memorable film..
During his frequent visits to Nepal, Peter has taken a particular interest in the Sherpa people, an indigenous population of western Tibetan descent who reside in the southern foothills of Everest. To honor their contribution to Himalayan mountaineering and Everest history, Peter spearheaded In 1991, Peter organized the Sherpa Everest Expedition and documented the event for ESPN and National Geographic Magazine.
In December of 1997, Peter was granted the David A. Sowles award for his dramatic rescue efforts high on Everest in 1996, assisting two frostbitten and exhausted climbers from Everest’s south col. The Sowles medal is the highest award conferred by the American Alpine Club, given rarely and only to climbers who have distinguished themselves through assuming great personal risk, sacrificing their own objectives and going to the assistance of those in need.
Everest looms from Peter’s resume, but his accomplishments on other peaks are equally impressive. Over a twenty-year period, Peter has been active on each continent, climbing, guiding and exploring. He has led expeditions to Lhotse, Nuptse, Makalu, Manaslu, K2 and has succeeded in forging a new line up the rarely climbed south face and ridge of Annapurna’s South Peak. Peter’s rapid ascents of Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam and Pumori have been remarkable in their lightweight efficiency and speed.
Peter is a member of The North Face Design and Development team, guides mountaineering adventures throughout the world and is a high altitude film-maker, earning him credits on films for NOVA, National Geographic Society and in the feature film, ” Seven Years in Tibet”. Peter is currently working on an autobiographical project to be released next spring entitled ” Nearly Sherpa: Seven Summits of Everest”.
Everest Millennium and Beyond:
In the spring of 1999 a team of three mountaineers planned to climb Everest, it’s neighboring high peaks Lhotse and Nuptse and conduct a series of altitude measuring experiments utilizing the Global Positioning System network. Accompanied by two film- makers and scientists from National Geographic, the Boston Museum of Science and MIT, the climbers were able to retrieve the most accurate data ever taken from Mount Everest leading to development of precision topographical and geological maps. From their expedition we learned that Everest is not only still growing taller but is also moving north-east further into Tibet!
But Everest Millennium and Beyond is much more than a story about a scientific team on Mount Everest. It is told by Pete Athans, seven- time Everest summiter, who has been traveling in Nepal, Tibet, China and Pakistan for more than 20 years. A frequent contributor to National Geographic Television, Pete has been on the summit of Everest more than any other western climber and was awarded the highest citation given by the American Alpine Club for his rescue of Beck Weathers in 1996. His presentation documents the surreal beauty of Everest in still photography and video, from basecamp to the summit. More importantly, Pete illuminates the lives and culture of the Sherpas who reside in the high valleys surrounding the world’s highest mountain. If you ever wanted to climb Everest or contemplate its sublime beauty don’t miss this show!