In 1993, like many young people before him, Mark Synnott found himself graduating Middlebury College unsure of what his future would hold - specifically his career path. However, he was certain of one thing - he wanted to climb. This passion led him to find work as a carpenter, a job conducive to a transient lifestyle.
A few years later, a 39-day stint living on the side of the 4,700-foot north face of Polar Sun Spire, a rock tower rising from a frozen fjord in Canada's Baffin Island, changed his life forever. Thus in 1996, he began his quest to climb some of the biggest walls on the planet. He bid farewell to his days as a carpenter and never looked back.
Innumerable big wall and alpine climbing adventures have transpired since, taking Mark on adventures to places like Pakistan, Nepal, India, China, Tibet, Oman, Alaska, Newfoundland, Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland, Guyana, Venezuela, Patagonia, Chad, Cameroon, Borneo and Pitcairn Island. In addition to his big wall exploits, Mark is also an accomplished free climber, enjoying long adventure trad climbs, such as the infamous "Stratosphere" in Colorado's Black Canyon or the east face of Mt. Babel in the Canadian Rockies. He has on-sighted 5.12 and red-pointed 5.13. Equally comfortable on ice and mixed as he is on rock, Mark has climbed high-end winter routes across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Scandinavia.
As passionate about skiing and ski mountaineering as he is about climbing, Mark appeared in the 2001 Warren Miller film "Cold Fusion," skiing off Mt. Waddington and Mt. Combatant in British Columbia. More recently, he snagged the first descent of a 5,100-foot couloir on Baffin Island's highest peak, Mt. Odin.
When he's not in the mountains, Mark works with The North Face's research, design and development teams. He's also a successful freelance photojournalist and the author of Baffin Island: Climbing, Trekking and Skiing. His articles and photos have appeared in numerous publications in the United States and abroad, including National Geographic, Men's Journal, Outside, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Skiing and New York magazine. Mark is an AMGA certified guide and the owner of Synnott Mountain Guides (www.synnottmountainguides.com), a climbing school based in his hometown of Jackson, New Hampshire.