This week’s conversation is with Conrad Anker, an absolute legend who has been pushing the limits of mountaineering for the last 30 years, evolving into one of America’s best alpinists.
At age 56, Conrad’s resume continues to grow, having notched the long-awaited first ascent of the Meru Shark’s Fin in India with partners Jimmy Chin and Renan Ozturk in 2011, which led to the Sundance-winning documentary, Meru.
Conrad has climbed Everest three times, including a 2012 trip with National Geographic to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of the mountain.
Though true alpine routes have been his forte, his résumé also includes big wall first ascents on El Capitan and first free ascents in Zion National Park.
In 1997 alone, he completed first ascents in Antarctica, Pakistan’s Karakorum and on Yosemite’s El Capitan.
So Conrad operates in high consequence environments, places where the luxury of a mistake is often not afforded. Like so many explorers of nature and human nature, he doesn’t consider himself a risk-taker, but someone who works in high risk environments. It’s a forcing function, like none other than I know – to get to the truth and the purity of thought and action.
It forces best judgment, and the rewards and consequences of such. And because of that, he’s come to have a deep relationship with life - with people and mother nature – his experience, with experience.
I hope that for all of us – to know oneself, others, to know mother nature – and to have a meaningful relationship with experience. To be able to work well with feelings, emotions, thoughts and the unfolding world outside of you.
Mark his movie right now - you’ll definitely want to watch it – it’s called “Torn” (available on Disney+).
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