The Expedition Team Members "If I see farther than others, it is because I stood on the shoulders of giants." Sir Isaac Newton
Eric Simonson, Expedition Leader
Age 43, resides in Ashford, Washington. A native of that state, he received a B.S. in Geology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and a M.S. in Geology from the University of Washington. Eric has been a professional guide since 1973 and has personally conducted over 70 expeditions around the world, including over 20 to the Himalayas. He is one of the most respected expedition organizers in the world and his "Expedition 8000" climbs are setting the standard for excellence in the 1990's. Eric serves on the Board of Directors of the American Mountain Guides Association and is one of the founding members of IGO 8000, an organization of high altitude guide services. Eric is an AMGA Certified Alpine and Ski Guide.
Eric's personal climbing resume in the U.S. includes 16 ascents of Mt. McKinley and over 260 ascents of Mt. Rainier. Internationally, he has participated in six expeditions to Mt. Everest (to the summit via the North Ridge in 1991), and many other classic ascents, including Mt. Vinson (Antarctica), Peak Communism (Tajikistan), Mt. Elbrus (Russia), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Aconcagua (Argentina), and Cho Oyu (Tibet). When not on the mountain, Eric is a partner in International Mountain Guides Inc, manages Expedition 8000 LLC, and is co-owner of Mt. Rainier Alpine Guides LLC, one of the newly permitted Mt. Rainier guide services. [Click for more on International Mountain Guides]
Dave Hahn, Climber and High Altitude Video Photographer
Age 37. A mountain guide for 14 years and a pro ski patroller, Dave has led over 15 McKinley expeditions and from November through February runs the Mt. Vinson (Antarctica) climbing for Adventure Network. Dave holds the current record for most Mt. Vinson summits at 14. A Senior Guide at Mt. Rainier for well over a decade, Dave has been to Everest three times, summitting in 1994 via the North Ridge, and leading the 1998 American Expedition organized by Expedition 8000. Dave has also summitted Cho Oyu two times as a guide. [Click for Hahn's answers to the Everest FAQ]
Andy Politz, Climber
Age 39. Andy has been a Mountain Guide for 15 years and has been to Everest four times, successfully summitting via the North Ridge in 1991. In addition, Andy has made first ascents on McKinley and St. Elias in Alaska, and has traveled widely throughout the world. A true renaissance man, Andy is a writer, photographer, climber, teacher, and sailor. An accomplished sea kayaker and boat builder, Andy was for many years the bosun for the Santa Maria replica ship, moored in Columbus, Ohio.
Conrad Anker, Climber
Age 36. Conrad is one of the most recognized names in U.S. climbing. He has climbed some of the most difficult routes on mountain ranges around the world, including the Karakoram Himalaya, Baffin Island, Antarctica, the Khumbu Himalaya, and Patagonia. Conrad's endurance, technical climbing abilities, and work as a camera assistant on climbing films will be a tremendous asset to our team.
Thom Pollard, Climber and High Altitude Video Photographer
Thom Pollard is from Leeds, MA and is a climber and video cameraman. Thom is responsible for shooting the high altitude video. He has climbed in the past in Alaska, South America and the Himalaya, including an attempt on Gasherbrum II.
Tap Richards, Climber
Age 26. Tap has been a guide for eight years at Mt. Rainier and Mt. McKinley, where he has guided several expeditions. Additionally, Tap guides in South America and has done many expeditions around the world including a successful ascent of Cho Oyu in 1996.
Jake Norton, Climber
Age 26. Jake has been a guide for eight years and has done many expeditions around the world including trips to Peru, Nepal, Mt. McKinley, and in 1997, a successful ascent of Cho Oyu in Tibet.
Graham Hoyland, Climber
Graham Hoyland became the fifteenth Briton to climb Mount Everest in 1993, which was the culmination of several years of mountaineering in the more remote parts of the world. He has also climbed Denali and last year he sailed in a yacht to Antarctica. He works as a T.V. producer on travel programs and is also a regular contributor to the travel section of "The Independent" newspaper.
Dan Mann, Climber
A former Seattle resident, I now live in Fairbanks, Alaska where I make a living as a research scientist specializing in climate-change. My current research projects include the use of arctic dune fields as records of past climate, the ecological history of Easter Island, and the glacial history of the Everest area. Doing science is an effective way of staying out of town and in the mountains. I have been climbing since I was 16. I worked part-time for Rainier Mountaineering in the 1980s. My climbing resume includes three expeditions to Denali, four to other big Alaskan/Yukon peaks, ascents of Aconcagua and the Ecuador volcanoes, plus short climbs in the Alps, Spitsbergen, Canadian Rockies, and of course, the Cascades. I have trekked in Nepal, climbed Island Peak, and reached the Second Step on Everestís North Ridge in 1991 while scouting for glacial deposits.
Lee Meyers, Expedition Doctor
Lee Meyers is from Harrisburg, MO and specializes in Emergency medicine. Lee has climbed in Alaska, Ecuador, Canada, Peru, and has ascents of McKinley, Aconcagua, and Mt. Vinson.
The Sherpa Team
Dawa Nuru Sherpa, Sirdar, from Phortse, Nepal
Tashi Dorje Sherpa from Pangboche, Nepal
Ang Chhiring Sherpa from Pangboche, Nepal
Da Nuru Sherpa from Phortse, Nepal
Pa Nuru Sherpa from Phortse, Nepal
Ang Phinjo Sherpa Phortse, Nepal
Lakpa Rita Sherpa from Phortse, Nepal
Ang Pasang Sherpa from Pangboche, Nepal
Pemba Tshiri Sherpa, cook, from Solu, Nepal
Pasang Nuru Sherpa, cook, from Khumjung, Nepal
Non-Climbing Expedition Members
Jochen Hemmleb, Historian
Born in 1971, Jochen is at present a student of Geology at the University of Frankfurt, Germany. His interest in Mt. Everest started at the age of 17, after reading the book "The Mystery of Mallory & Irvine". Calling Audrey Salkeld his mentor and main source of inspiration, he has collected vast amounts of data from all over the world about Mt. Everest's North Ridge and the history of mountaineering in the region. An active mountaineer, Jochen has climbed extensively in the European Alps and East Africa, and has traveled widely in Europe, Africa and New Zealand. He also shares a strong interest in journalism and photography. Jochen is the author of two recognized research papers on Everest mysteries, "Second Step - Unraveling the Mystery" and "Where Are You Now, Pete & Joe?"
Larry A. Johnson, Historian
Born in 1946 in Gettysburg, PA, USA, Larry is the Marketing Director for an East Coast publisher of many books on climbing and mountaineering. His interest in Everest began in high school when he read Tenzing Norgay's biography, "Tiger of the Snows," and has continued with the study of the British pre-war attempts. Larry is active in climbing in the Eastern U.S. and makes an annual trek to Wyoming to climb in the Tetons. He has also climbed in the Colorado Rockies, Yosemite, and the Washington Cascades. He is a member of the American Alpine Club and the American Mountain Guides Association and the owner of the Keystone Outdoor School which teaches rock and ice climbing in Pennsylvania and at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia