Freddie Wilkinson believes that a climbing adventure is only as good as the stories you bring home. Wilkinson grew up in the flatlands of suburban Connecticut and climbed his first mountain –New Hampshire’s Mount Washington – at age thirteen. By age 20, Wilkinson had climbed Denali via the Cassin Ridge and Nepal’s Cholatse via the West Rib. Since then, he has spent three to four months of every year on expeditions around the globe. In between traveling, Wilkinson earned a degree in history from Dartmouth College and worked as a climbing guide in New England and Alaska. In 2007, Wilkinson established new routes on three different mountains on three different continents: Patagonia’s Cerro Poincinot, The Fin in Alaska, and Mount Mahindra in the Indian Himalaya. That’s pretty good – but Wilkinson still considers himself to be better at telling stories than he is a climbing mountains. He lives in Madison New Hampshire with his fiancé Janet Bergman in a 12 x 12 cabin with a view of the White Mountains.
In August 2010, Freddie published his first book, “One Mountain Thousand Summits: The Untold Story of Tragedy and True Heroism on K2″. An insider’s account of one of the deadliest and most controversial tragedies in mountaineering histroy-the 2008 K2 disaster.
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Get to know Freddie Wilkinson
- Birth Date:
November 26, 1979
- Place of Birth:
New Haven, CT
- Current Home town:
Madison, New Hampshire
- Primary Sport:
- Specialties within your sport:
Alpine, Rock, and Ice Climbing.
- Other hobbies or sports:
Mountain running, reading history, writing, primitive living
- My favorite Mountain Hardwear products:
Chocklite Anorak, Desna hoody, Tanglewood pants, Quasar Anorak, Summit Rocket 30
- How were you introduced to your sport?
I got cut from the hockey team in fifth grade. That was really the end of my career in organized athletics, although I was a decent cross-country runner in high school. I’m grateful to my parents for encouraging me to spend time outside. I started doing more and more backpacking and fishing, and it wasn’t long before I wanted to learn to climb.
- What inspires you?
Creative ways to cover lots of terrain as quickly as possible in the mountains. Honest writing. Alpine sunrises. A solid work-ethic. Being around people who push their personal comfort zones.
- What advice would you give to newcomers to climbing today?
There are so many different ways to engage in the sport of climbing today, from pulling on plastic to summiting 8,000 meter peaks… Sample it all, and decide what it is you truly enjoy. If you aren’t having fun, you won’t ever be motivated to improve and push yourself.
- What’s your favorite expedition meal?
I get great pleasure from eating just about everything, but one particular food I’d like to single out for recognition is the French Fry. French fries come from the potato, perhaps nature’s most perfect crop. In different cultures, fries are known by different names: papas fritas, pomme frites, alu fries… I am a great connoisseur of global fry cuisine, and they are my go-to meal before and after any major alpine climb.
- How do you balance your training schedule with your “real” job?
No matter how busy I am, I try to get at least an hour of solid cardio in every day. As soon as I break a sweat, my body starts to relax and my mind begins to clear. I find that when I return to the desk, I’m more focused, so training actually helps me to be more productive.
- Six-word bio – In exactly six words summarize yourself
Attack, attack, fluff, strike, sleep, attack.
- What music gets you fired up?
Led Zeppelin, Alice and Chains, and Neil Young.
- If you were a super hero, who would you be?
India Jones has always been my role model… does he count?
India, Saser Kangri II, first ascent, 7518 meters, via the SE Face: The Old Breed. Recipient of the 2012 Piolet d’Or for this climb.
Alaska, Moose’s Tooth, the south face, first ascent of The Swamp Donkey Express.
Nepal, Kangtega, the north face, first ascent of The New Hampshire Route.
Argentina, Fitzroy Massif, first ascent of The Carebear Traverse.
Yosemite Valley, Half Dome – Nose linkup, 16 hours.
Argentina, Cerro Poincenot, south face, first ascent of El Sacrificio del Raton.
India, Mount Mahindra, first ascent of Ashoka’s Pillar.
Alaska, The Fin, The Fin Wall, first ascent to summit ridge.
Alaska, Mount Hunter, The Diamond Arete, second ascent.
2012 Piolet d’Or
Banff Book Prize finalist for Mountain Literature
Lyman Spitzer recipient
Copp-Dash grant recipient
Lyman Spitzer Grant recipient
Mugs Stump recipient
Robert Hicks Bates Award
Mugs Stump recipient.
Freddie’s Recent Stories
- (9/20/2013)Training Day By Mountain Hardwear athlete Freddie Wilkinson Training Day from Cowboy … Read more
- (5/21/2012)The Tooth Traverse By Freddie Wilkinson and Renan Ozturk We left basecamp in … Read more