Peter Athans

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Pete Athans (born March 1, 1957) is one of the world's foremost high-altitude mountaineers. He is best known for being, with Dave Hahn, William Crouse, and Ed Viesturs, one of only four non-Sherpa (as of May 18th, 2013) to summit Mount Everest seven times, and has been given the moniker "Mr. Everest".[1] (For comparison: the person who summitted Mount Everest most often is Apa Sherpa, with a total of 21 times.) His first attempt to climb Everest in 1985 via the West Ridge, and further attempts in 1986, 1987, and 1989 were unsuccessful, but he succeeded in summitting in 1990 as part of an expedition that included Scott Fischer and Wally Berg.

Athans is one of several western Himalayan guides who have adopted Nepal as a second home, and who have taken up the cause of the Sherpa people and their culture.

Climbing record[edit]


In 1996 he was a key participant in the rescue of several climbers during the May 1996 Everest Disaster. For his efforts the American Alpine Club awarded him and his partner Todd Burleson and Anatoli Boukreev the David A. Sowles Memorial Award.[2]

The next year, Athans removed the body of a friend - Bruce Herrod, a South African climber who had perished just weeks after the 1996 disaster, from the climbing route high up on the mountain. He found Herrod hanging upside down by the climbing ropes that the photographer had been using to make his way down the dangerous Hillary Step section of the mountain, just below the summit. Four expeditions had climbed past his body before the removal of Herrod's body, which was cut loose and pushed over the edge.[3] Athans returned the camera and ice axe of the dead climber to his family. The last pictures Herrod took, shortly after 5PM the night he summitted, were of himself, on the summit, smiling that he had at last reached this goal.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ""Mr. Everest" Remembers Edmund Hillary". National Geographic. 2008-01-11. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  2. ^ Jackson, Sarah (8 November 2009). "Everest veteran explores Mustang; findings to air on PBS". Republica (Nepal Republic Media Pvt. Ltd.). Retrieved 15 November 2009. 
  3. ^ "The Darkside of Everest". 2008-02-17. Retrieved 2009-01-10.