Team Members and Bios

Zac Zaharias

My love affair with mountains started in 1976 when I completed a basic mountaineering course in the Southern Alps of New Zealand. I enjoyed it so much that I kept coming back every summer for the next five years. They were wonderful, carefree times - climbing with a few mates, hauling huge packs up and down the Tasman Glacier, overindulging at the $5 eat all you can smorgasbords at the Hermitage hotel and occasionally getting up a mountain< when the weather was kind to us. In the summer of 1981 I completed the  read more »

Lesley Gidding

Im a marine biologist and my two great outdoor loves are the ocean and the mountains. I've been climbing for over 15 years, being first dragged up a rock face in the Blue Mountains near Sydney by my brother ­ there were tears that day because I was so scared, but I was hooked!  read more »

Chris Warner

Climbing became an important part of my life from a young age and has given me my most rewarding experiences. I’m drawn to all styles of climbing especially first ascents and look forward to the many more good lines to discover. I’ve also spent time exploring other interests and wandered around in the Great Sandy Desert on foot in search of the coast and twice peddled across Australia by myself, travelling from Perth to Sydney in 18 days. The longer and harder an adventure appears the more pleasure there seems to be.  read more »

Dr James Strohfeldt

James with one of his two greatest accomplishments.I am the expedition surgeon, reiki practitioner and dream analyst, consultation hours 5 to 5.10pm daily. At all other times I will be climbing or blissing out in the space and simplicity that makes climbing trips so cool. I like the following- Krista, Kashi and Liesl (the females in my life), the Alaska range (special light), France (how western culture looks when it gets it right), building houses, Buddhism (or any other exposition of the truth of things) and patients with the courage to change.  read more »

Mike Cook

I took up mountaineering about 12 years ago, starting off in NZ, before venturing onto the higher altitudes of the Himalayas and Alaska. After many years cross-country skiing and some rock climbing, I saw mountaineering as a natural progression of combining both pursuits. I love the outdoors, especially snow sports, and will throw the skis on at the first sign of a good frost.  read more »

Damien Gildea

I've spent much of the last 15 years climbing all over the world, but the last seven summers have been spent in Antarctica. Originally I worked as a guide there, but now I get to combine my love of exploratory mountaineering and first ascents with my passion for information about mountains and climbing, which has led to the production of two topographical maps and many journal articles.  read more »

Geoff Robb

I came to mountaineering pretty late in life, and not by the usual route of rock climbing.My wife Sue would say that I haven’t got over my mid life crisis yet. Years of frustration as a banker (with a previous employer) led me to trekking in the Himalayas, then a struggle up Aconcagua, then in 1997 I was unsuccessful on Cho Oyu due to a bad chest cold on the summit bid. Since then I have been very lucky in the mountains, and this will be my 7th 8000m peak expedition.  read more »

Henri Laursen

In the quest for fame and fortune I tried numerous sporting pursuits. Alas I was forced to accept the inevitable and resign myself to the fact I was dreadful at anything that involved a ball, bat, racket or pretty much anything at all. Feeling left on the fringe I took up caving. I graduated from dark, muddy holes to the sun-soaked sandstone crags of the Blue Mountains. Ah I found a place where my mind and heart were free. Just as I was thinking it could not get much better, a good friend showed me the book ‘White Limbo’.  read more »

Lieutenant Alam Gul

My Name is Lieutenant Alam Gul and I am a 30 year old Officer in the Pakistan Navy. I am a Pathan, born in Mardan in the NWEP Province of Pakistan. I am married with one daughter. I completed a BBA (Hons) and currently serving in Karach in in Logistics and Management branch. My favourite cricket player is Shahid Khan Afridi. I am looking forward to the expedition very much and I hope next time that Pakistan will beat Australia in the cricket.

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