Mountaineers

Throughout history mountaineers from all over the world have attempted to scale the lofty peaks of formidable mountains like Mount Everest, K2, Kangchenjunga, and many others. While some like New Zealand mountaineer Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Indian Sherpa Tenzing Norgay were successful in creating history by becoming the first ever human beings to reach the summit of Mount Everest—the Earth's highest mountain—many others like Rob Hall and Sherpa mountaineer Babu Chiri Sherpa died on the very mountain they set out to conquer. Mountaineering is a risky profession, even though it is highly adventurous and exciting. In attempting to scale mighty mountain peaks, the mountaineers take a huge risk—they might even lose their lives in their ambitious endeavors! But then, it is the very risk it carries that makes mountaineering such a thrilling adventure. Though it is difficult to imagine mountaineering without the aid of modern equipment and communication facilities, daredevils like the prominent 19th century physicist, John Tyndall, ventured into the Alps in the 1850s and became associated with the golden age of alpinism. This section provides you information about the life and works of various famous mountaineers from all over the world.
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 1 Rob Hall

Rob Hall
8
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: January 14, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Christchurch, New Zealand
Died: May 11, 1996

Rob Hall was a New Zealand mountaineer and the head guide of a Mount Everest expedition in 1996, during which he died along with two clients and a fellow guide. The ill-fated expedition was dramatized in the film Everest where Rob Hall was played by actor Jason Clarke.

 2 Edmund Hillary

Edmund Hillary
4
Famous As: First person to climb Mt. Everest
Birthdate: July 20, 1919
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Auckland, New Zealand
Died: January 11, 2008
Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first to reach the top of Mount Everest, as part of the British expedition led by John Hunt. Hillary also reached both the poles. He later served as an ambassador to Nepal and founded the Himalayan Trust to help the people of Nepal.

 3 George Mallory

George Mallory
4
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: June 18, 1886
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Mobberley, Cheshire, England
Died: June 9, 1924
A leading member of early expeditions to Mount Everest, George Mallory disappeared on the mountain while trying to reach the summit, along with Sandy Irvine. Mallory succeeded or not, it still remains a subject of research and speculation, yet he left footprints on the sands of time. 
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 4 Jim Bridger

Jim Bridger
4
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: March 17, 1804
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, US
Died: July 17, 1881

Known as the ultimate American mountain man, Jim Bridger is remembered for his exploration of the Western United States. It is believed, the illiterate fur trader was the first white man to explore the Great Salt Lake and one of the first to visit Yellowstone. He also worked as a forest guide.

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 5 Jon Krakauer

Jon Krakauer
8
Famous As: Journalist, Explorer, Writer
Birthdate: April 12, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brookline, Massachusetts, United States

Best known for his bestselling novels such as Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer is not just an author who writes about the outdoors but is also a mountaineer himself. He was part of the 1996 expedition to Mt. Everest which witnessed 4 of the team members dying in a storm.

 6 Reinhold Messner

Reinhold Messner
4
Famous As: First to Climb All Fourteen Peaks Over 8,000 Metres (26,000 Ft) Above Sea Level
Birthdate: September 17, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brixen, Italy

Italian mountaineer and explorer Reinhold Messner teamed up with Austrian mountaineer Peter Habeler to be the first to climb Mount Everest without using oxygen cylinders. He is also the first to complete a solo ascent of Everest and the first to climb all the 14 mountain peaks that stand above 8000m.

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 7 Heinrich Harrer

Heinrich Harrer
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: July 6, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hüttenberg, Austria
Died: January 7, 2006

Austrian mountaineer, sportsman, geographer, and author Heinrich Harrer was part of the climbing team that made the first ascent of the North Face of the Eiger. He took part in expeditions to Alaska, the Andes, and the Mountains of the Moon in central Africa in his later years. As a writer, he published Seven Years in Tibet. 

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 8 Yasuko Namba

Yasuko Namba
4
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: February 2, 1949
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Tokyo
Died: May 11, 1996
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 9 Scott Fischer

Scott Fischer
6
Famous As: First American to Summit Mt. Lhotse
Birthdate: December 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muskegon, Michigan, United States
Died: May 11, 1996

American mountaineer Scott Fischer was known for scaling the highest peaks of the world, including Mt. Everest and K2, without using oxygen cans. He later became a mountain guide and co-launched his own adventure travel company Mountain Madness. He died in a blizzard while guiding a group of clients to Mt. Everest.

 10 Dean Potter

Dean Potter
3
Famous As: Former free climber, alpinist, BASE jumper, and highliner
Birthdate: April 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, United States
Died: May 16, 2015
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 11 Green Boots

Green Boots
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Died: May 11, 1996

 12 Conrad Anker

Conrad Anker
5
Famous As: Rock climber, Mountaineer
Birthdate: November 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: California, United States

A passionate mountaineer and rock climber, Conrad Anker led The North Face for 26 years. He almost died of a heart attack while climbing the Lunag Ri on the borders of the Nepalese Himalayas. He is now also associated with various charitable trusts, such as the Rowell Fund for Tibet.

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 13 Tenzing Norgay

Tenzing Norgay
6
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: May 15, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Khumbu, Nepal
Died: May 9, 1986

Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer, Tenzing Norgay, was one of the first two individuals known to reach the summit of Mount Everest, the other being Edmund Hillary. He was named one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century by Time magazine. In his later years, he became the first Director of Field Training of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute.

 14 Arne Naess, Jr.

Arne Naess, Jr.
4
Famous As: Businessman, Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 8, 1937
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Germany
Died: January 13, 2004

 15 Yvon Chouinard

Yvon Chouinard
5
Famous As: Mountaineer, Rock climber Founder of Chouinard Equipment Ltd. and Patagonia (clothing)
Birthdate: November 9, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lewiston, Maine, United States

 16 Tom Ballard

Tom Ballard
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: October 16, 1988
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Belper, Derbyshire, England
Died: March 9, 2019
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 17 Francys Arsentiev

Francys Arsentiev
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: January 18, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Honolulu
Died: May 24, 1998

 18 Jordan Romero

Jordan Romero
5
Famous As: Mountain Climber Who Reached Summit of Mount Everest at the Age of 13
Birthdate: July 12, 1996
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Redlands, California, United States

At 13, Jordan Romero became the youngest person to scale the Mt. Everest and had to opt for the Tibetan side, as he wasn’t old enough to get a permit in Nepal. At 15, he became the youngest to scale the Seven Summits. He has also penned a book on his experiences.

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 19 Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin
6
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: October 12, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mankato, Minnesota

 20 Junko Tabei

Junko Tabei
3
Famous As: Explorer, Mountaineer
Birthdate: September 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Miharu
Died: October 20, 2016
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 21 Lincoln Hall

Lincoln Hall
3
Famous As: Mountain climber
Birthdate: December 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Canberra, Australia
Died: March 20, 2012

 22 Alex Lowe

Alex Lowe
5
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 24, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frederick, Maryland, United States
Died: October 5, 1999
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 23 Ed Viesturs

Ed Viesturs
3
Famous As: mountaineer
Birthdate: June 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rockford

 24 Hannelore Schmatz

Hannelore Schmatz
5
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: February 16, 1940
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Regensburg
Died: October 2, 1979
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 25 Dan Osman

Dan Osman
3
Famous As: Rock climber
Birthdate: February 11, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: November 23, 1998

 26 Wanda Rutkiewicz

Wanda Rutkiewicz
3
Famous As: Explorer, Sportsperson, Q20683322, Mountaineer
Birthdate: February 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Plungė
Died: May 12, 1992

 27 Ang Dorje Sherpa

Ang Dorje Sherpa
0
Famous As: Mountaineering guide, Climber and Porter from Pangboche, Nepal, who has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest 20 times
Birthdate: 1970 AD
Birthplace: Pangboche, Nepal

 28 Peter Hillary

Peter Hillary
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Auckland
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 29 Mark Inglis

Mark Inglis
3
Famous As: Winegrower, Sport cyclist
Birthdate: September 27, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New Zealand

 30 Bachendri Pal

Bachendri Pal
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: May 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nakuri, Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand, India
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 31 Jim Beckwourth

Jim Beckwourth
3
Famous As: Explorer
Birthdate: April 6, 1798
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Frederick County, Virginia, United States
Died: October 29, 1866

Born to a white man and a mulatto slave woman, Jim Beckwourth was practically born into slavery. While he looked like an American Indian, he was known as a “free Negro” after being released. Known as Bloody Arm, he is credited with exploring the Beckwourth Pass.

 32 Jerzy Kukuczka

Jerzy Kukuczka
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: March 24, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Katowice
Died: October 24, 1989
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 33 Apa Sherpa

Apa Sherpa
3
Famous As: mountaineer
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Thame

 34 Chris Sharma

Chris Sharma
3
Famous As: Rock climber
Birthdate: April 23, 1981
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Santa Cruz

 35 John Colter

John Colter
3
Famous As: Military Person
Birthdate: 1774 AD
Birthplace: Stuarts Draft, Virginia, United States
Died: November 22, 1813

Trapper-explorer John Colter, who was part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, is remembered as the first white man to visit and describe the Yellowstone National Park. He had a brush with death on three occasions, when he came face-to-face with Indian tribes. He later settled in a Missouri farm.

 36 Maurice Wilson

Maurice Wilson
2
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: April 21, 1898
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bradford
Died: June 1, 1934

 37 Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner
3
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 13, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kirchdorf an der Krems

 38 Peter Aufschnaiter

Peter Aufschnaiter
3
Famous As: Explorer, Cartographer, Geographer, Rock climber
Birthdate: November 2, 1899
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kitzbühel
Died: October 12, 1973

 39 Richard Bass

Richard Bass
3
Famous As: entrepreneur, mountaineer
Birthdate: December 21, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tulsa

 40 Nick Piantanida

Nick Piantanida
0
Famous As: Basketball player, Skydiver
Birthdate: August 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Union City, New Jersey, United States
Died: August 29, 1966

 41 David Breashears

David Breashears
2
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 20, 1955
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 42 Simone Moro

Simone Moro
2
Famous As: Mountaineer, Helicopter pilot
Birthdate: October 27, 1967
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bergamo

 43 Babu Chiri Sherpa

Babu Chiri Sherpa
2
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: June 22, 1965
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Solukhumbu, Nepal
Died: April 29, 2001

 44 Peter Wessel Zapffe

Peter Wessel Zapffe
2
Famous As: Metaphysician, Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 18, 1899
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tromsø, Norway
Died: October 12, 1990

Peter Wessel Zapffe was a Norwegian metaphysician, mountaineer, artist, author, and lawyer. He is best remembered for his 1933 essay The Last Messiah which was later included in his 1941 treatise On the Tragic. The essay reflects Peter Wessel Zapffe's philosophically pessimistic view of human existence.

 45 Pasang Lhamu Sherpa

Pasang Lhamu Sherpa
2
Famous As: Mountaineer
Birthdate: December 10, 1961
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Solukhumbu District
Died: April 22, 1993

 46 Aleksander Doba

Aleksander Doba
0
Famous As: Canoeist
Birthdate: September 9, 1946
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Swarzędz, Poland
Died: February 22, 2021

 47 Walter Bonatti

Walter Bonatti
2
Famous As: Mountaineer Known for Solo Climb of 'Aiguille du Dru'
Birthdate: June 22, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bergamo, Italy
Died: September 13, 2011

Walter Bonatti was an Italian explorer, mountain climber, and journalist. He made a solo climb of a new route on the southwest pillar of the Aiguille du Dru in August 1955, among other achievements. He retired from mountaineering at the age of 35 and pursued a career as a reporter. He also wrote several books on mountaineering.    

 48 Warren Harding

Warren Harding
3
Famous As: Rock climber
Birthdate: June 18, 1924
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: United States
Died: February 27, 2002

 49 Sir Leslie Stephen

Sir Leslie Stephen
2
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: November 28, 1832
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kensington Gore, London, United Kingdom
Died: February 22, 1904

Sir Leslie Stephen was an English historian, biographer, author, critic, and mountaineer. Leslie Stephen also took an active part in the organized humanist movement, serving as the president of the West London Ethical Society on multiple occasions. He was the father of famous author, Virginia Woolf, and painter, Vanessa Bell.

 50 Fredrik Ericsson

Fredrik Ericsson
2
Famous As: Ski mountaineer
Birthdate: March 14, 1975
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Sundsvall, Sweden
Died: August 6, 2010