Legendary climber Peter Athans joins a team of explorers to unearth the hidden relics of Nepal's ancient and remote caves, in the first of this three-part series.
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
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
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".