About Ed Viesturs - Veteran World-class Climber and Bestselling Author:
Ed Viesturs is widely regarded as this country’s foremost high-altitude mountaineer. He is familiar to many from the 1996 IMAX Everest Expedition documentary and in 2002, he was awarded the historic Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorer’s Club for outstanding achievement in the field of mountaineering. In winning the award, he joined an elite group of climbers including Sir Edmund Hillary. In 1992 he was awarded the American Alpine Club Sowles Awards for his participation in two rescues on K-2.
Viesturs is a professional mountaineer and works as a design consultant for several prominent outdoor equipment manufacturers such as Eddie Bauer/First Ascent and Grandoe Gloves. He also represents companies such as Rolex and the Seattle Seahawks. He does corporate motivational speeches as well, touching on subjects such as Risk Management, Leadership, Team Work, Overcoming Major Obstacles, and Decision Making Under Pressure.
During the 18 year span to climb the world’s highest peaks he went on 29 Himalayan expeditions and reached the summit on 20 of these occasions and stood on the top of Everest seven times. He climbs without benefit of an oxygen tank, which he feels can be burdensome and potentially troublesome. Only a superior conditioned athlete can scale heights above 25,000 feet without artificial oxygen – a fact Viesturs has turned into an important metaphor for his audiences.
In October 2005 Viesturs best selling autobiography No Shortcuts To The Top was published and released by Broadway Books. The book covers in detail Ed Viesturs’ career as a mountaineer, how he prepared for his expeditions and his philosophy about how he managed the inherent risks.
In 2008 Viesturs published his second book K-2, LIFE AND DEATH ON THE WORLD”S MOST DANGEROUS MOUNTAINS, as by Broadway Books. This book chronicles 6 historic expeditions on the world’s second highest peak, and discusses the risks of success and the costs thereof. Risk management is a key theme throughout.
Viesturs third book The Will to Climb: Obsession and Commitment and the Quest to Climb Annapurna--the World's Deadliest Peak was released on October 4, 2011.
What Ed Viesturs Talks About:
No Shortcuts to the Top
Regardless of the industry, teamwork is the same: “It is an implicit trust in, and recognition that the person next to you is No. 1,” as Ed explains. “If we’re climbing a mountain together and you slip and fall, I’m there to save your life” – which is the ultimate definition of teamwork. Another lesson Viesturs espouses is the importance of perseverance, or going step by step and not getting discouraged when working toward your goal. Viesturs recalls once being just 300 feet away from the top of Mount Everest when he had to turn back.
Viesturs motto has always been that climbing has to be a round trip. All of his planning and focus during his climbs maintains this ethic and he is not shy about turning back from a climb if conditions are too severe. In spite of his conservative attitude Viesturs has been one of the most successful Himalayan climbers in American history. His story is about risk management as well as being patient enough for conditions to allow an ascent. Ultimately, in his words, “The mountain decides whether you climb or not. The art of mountaineering is knowing when to go, when to stay, and when to retreat.”
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