Conrad Anker is one of the finest American alpinists who has spent more than 30 years in the mountains. He has been engaged in mountaineering activities to this day. And he still closely associates himself and his wife with the Sherpas in the Himalayas. Anker is a Bozeman, Montana-based mountaineer who is now a father of three. He has always been able to keep a balance between his work life plus passion and his family.
Moreover, his wife is just as passionate about the mountains as he is. He has set impressive records in the world of mountaineering. He is also known for his 1999 Everest expedition when he discovered the body remnants of George Mallory, who was lost in the year 1924 in a British expedition alongside Andrew Irvin.
Anker has had a glorious career in mountaineering, and he still is going on with his passion. There are many interesting facts about the life and career of Conrad Anker that you will not want to miss out on, given you truly love adventure and mountaineering. He is truly an inspiration to mountaineers throughout the world. So, if you want to learn more about him, make sure to read till the end of this article!
Who is Conrad Anker?
Conrad Anker is an American mountaineer, rock climber, and author. He was also the leader of The North Face’s climbing team. He worked with the team for 26 years until the year 2018. There have been plenty of circumstances in the life of Anker that would make just about anyone retire from their career in mountaineering. He suffered from a widowmaker heart attack in an attempt to climb Lunag Ri with David Lama. His condition got severe, and he was immediately rushed to a hospital in Kathmandu. He had to go through an emergent coronary angioplasty, which included a stent being placed in his proximal left anterior descending artery. While he retired from high-altitude mountaineering due to these factors, he still continues any other activities associated with the mountains that he can. Despite having a heart attack, the very next year, he led the TNF team of Jimmy Chin, Alex Honnold, Anna Pfaff, Cedar Wright, and Savannah Cummins to Wolf’s Jaw massif in Queen Maud Land territory, Antarctica. That being said, Conrad has not yet retired from mountaineering.
Anker is known as one of the most prolific alpinists of all time who is alive. Besides working for his own passion, he is also very closely engaged with the Sherpas in the Himalayas. While Conrad has been almost all around the world exploring peaks and rocks, he has a deep interest in the Khumbu region in Nepal, which is also the home to many glorious eight thousanders or the tallest mountains in the world. He and his wife, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, have been keeping in touch with the Sherpas in the Khumbu region, in which they both have a very keen interest. As many mountains as there are in the region, the facilities are not as appreciable. Hence, the couple made an effort to find the Khumbu Climbing Center in Phortse, Nepal. This institute aims at providing different safety training courses to high-altitude workers.
At his home in Antarctica, Anker has shown just as much interest in the wild places at his paternal home in Big Oak Flat, California, outside Yosemite National Park. He climbed Mount Rainier when he was only 16 years old. This was the climb that triggered his love for climbing mountains and rocks. He met the late climber Mugs Stump, who was also his mentor when he was working at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and also working for a mountaineering shop. His best friend, Alex Lowe, was a part-time carpenter and his climbing partner. The two of them have been able to climb many mountains in the 90’s, including those in the Himalayas and Antarctica. With this, Conrad was able to have the climb of El Capitan and first free ascents in Zion National Park in his record and resume.
1997 was one of the best years in his career as he climbed Antarctica, Pakistan’s Karakorum, and Yosemite’s El Capitan. His dear late friend Lowe made sure to mention Conrad as being a natural in mountaineering because of his passion and love for the work. He wrote, “Being in the mountains, for Conrad, is as natural and essential as breathing… It’s where his heart beats, where his soul abides.”
Conrad Anker Mountaineering
Starting from the early age of 16, Conrad only went on to better his passion as a mountaineer as time passed by. From working at a local mountaineering shop to being one of the finest American alpinists in the world, Anker has done it all. His achievements and remarkable records in mountaineering are truly inspiring to mountaineers as well as climbers of all sorts throughout the world. He has been to the most remote places on earth during his time mountaineering. Furthermore, Conrad had also always been attracted and appreciative of the wildest places he had been able to explore.
He has been able to make the first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Meru in India, the East Face of Vinson Massif, Ellsworth Mountains in Antarctica, Rakekniven Peak, Snow Petrel Wall, Queen Maud Land in Antarctica, Continental Drift in El Capitan, Streaked Wall with Mugs Stump of Zion National Park, Stump Spire in Sam Ford Fiord, etc. Likewise, he has been able to climb Mount Everest three times, among which one time, he went to the summit without any supplemental oxygen. His other ascents include Zion – Shune’s Buttress, Red Mountain, Patagonia – Badlands, Karakorum Himal, etc.
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Conrad Anker Discovered Remains Of George Mallory
During Conrad’s 1999 famous expedition to Mount Everest, he found the remnants of a body that resembled the long-lost mountaineer George Mallory, who never returned from the mountain in 1924. Anker was a member of a search team who went searching for the body of the British mountaineer even years after his disappearance. While the body of Mallory was found with plentiful evidence proving the remnants to be his, the body of his climbing partner, Andrew Irvine, was never found.
The mountaineering community is forever grateful for Anker to have solved the mysteries that remained unfolded and mysterious for years. George was never spotted in the mountain by any other rescue team or mountaineers until Conrad did.
Conrad Anker Books and Films
Anker’s work as a mountaineer also influenced his career as an author and a filmmaker. He has been part of several film projects like:
- Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure (2001)
- Light of the Himalayas (2006)
- The Endless Knot (2007)
- The Wildest Dream (2010)
- Meru (2015)
- National Parks Adventure (2016)
- Lunag Ri (2016)
- Black Ice (2020)
- Torn (2021)
All these films have somewhat been influenced by the experiences of Conrad during his years of mountaineering. Likewise, he is also the author to books like:
- Anker, Conrad (1988). “Gumbies on Gurney”
- Anker, Conrad (1990). “Hunter’s Northwest Face”
- Anker, Conrad (1998). “With You in Spirit”
- Anker, Conrad; David Roberts (2001) . The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mt. Everest
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is Conrad Anker famous for?
Conrad Anker is famous as one of the finest alpinists in the world.
Were Mallory and Irvine ever found?
Irvine was never found. However, mountaineer Conrad Anker found the bodily remnants of George Mallory in 1999.
Who was Conrad Anker’s mentor?
Terry Stump was the mentor of Conrad Ankers. Stump is also famous as Mug.
Who did Conrad Anker marry?
Conrad Anker married Jennifer Lowe-Anker.
What mountains has Conrad Anker climbed?
After his first ascent to Spansar Peak via a 7,000-foot ridge in a single day, Conrad Anker has climbed several other mountains throughout his life.
Where is Conrad Anker from?
Conrad Anker is from Hyalite, in the Gallatin Range of Montana.
How old is Conrad Anker?
Conrad Anker is 60 years old.
Did Conrad Anker climb Meru?
Yes, Meru was ascended for the first time by Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk. They had failed to do so during their first attempt at the same peak in 2008.
How do I contact Conrad Anker?
You can contact Conrad Anker via Email at email@example.com, which has been given on his Facebook profile.