From the teahouses of Khumbu Himal to obscure glaciers of the Alaska Range to storm-lashed Patagonian spires, Freddie Wilkinson is a climber known for his infectious energy and original lines of ascent. In 2012, Wilkinson received the prestigious Piolet d’Or for making the first ascent of Saser Kangri II, the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world at the time. His climbing adventures have also been recognized with both the Robert Hicks Bates Award and the Lyman Spitzer Award from the American Alpine Club, the Mugs Stump Award, The McNeil- Nott Award, and a grant from the National Geographic Expeditions Council. Wilkinson has been a member of the Mountain Hardwear Athlete Team since 2008.
In between adventures, Freddie makes his home in the hills of New Hampshire where he works as a writer and guide. His in-depth reporting on the 2008 K2 season changed public perception of the tragedy by telling the story through the eyes of the climbing-Sherpas, and resulted in the narrative non-fiction book One Mountain Thousand Summits (NAL/Penguin). His writing has appeared in Men’s Journal, Outside, The New York Times, Alpinist, Rock and Ice, and online at the Huffington Post. Wilkinson has also written and co-directed two documentary films, The Old Breed (2012), which won awards from the Kendall Mountain Festival and the Boulder Adventure Film Festival, and the upcoming The Sanctity of Space.
Five of Freddie’s First Ascents:
Alaska: The Tooth Traverse, The Great Gorge. I guess the Tooth Traverse had always been there, waiting in the dark. We only needed to turn on the light… One second, it didn’t exist. And the next, it was the most beautiful line in the world. Photo: Renan Ozturk
Antarctica: Bertha’s Spire, Queen Maud Land. The real enemy was the wind. Photo: Cory Richards
Patagonia: The Carebear Traverse, Fitzroy Massif. Miles of perfect alpine granite and a bivouac in the clouds. Photo: Freddie Wilkinson
Karakoram: Saser Kangri II, Saser Mustagh. Climbing a 7500 meter peak alpine style is never easy. Photo: Freddie Wilkinson
Himalaya: North Face of Kangtega, Khumbu Himalaya. When you’re surrounded by cornices, pull out the shovel and start digging.. Photo: Ben Gilmore.
Freddie’s Selected writings:
National Geographic: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2013/09/antarctica-climb/wilkinson-text
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