Sunday, June 30, 2013

AC Denali Post 11: Lead Guide Dave Hahn (and bud)

So, RC back here on the AC Denali Blog--we thought it was probably time to give you a bit of background on Dave Hahn--the lead guide on Anders' expedition to Denali.

Dave is one of a handful of truly elite American (or World for that matter) climbers.  He is 42 years old and has been a professional mountaineer and guide for most of his life.  Here is a small sample of his mountaineering resume:

- He has summitted Everest 15 times, which is more than any non-Sherpa climber and puts him in the top 3 of all time for that fairly well known mountain.

- He has climbed on Denali for each of the last 25 years and has summitted 20 times.

- He has 30 summits of the Vinson Massif, which is the highest peak in Antarctica--which I believe is the most of any climber.

-He has climbed Mount Rainier over 250 times...

-Dave has a very distinguished history of performing many high altitude rescues and has been formerly recognized for these heroic efforts--here is a sample:
   -in 2009 the United States awareded him the Citizen's Award for Braverly for the rescue of an injured climber on Rainier.  During the course of this rescue the helicopter they were flying on crashed and Dave rescued both the climber and the helicopter crew
   -in 2001, the National Park Service named him the Pro Mountaineer of the Year for several rescues he made that year
   -in 2002, he was a recipient of the Sowles Award for the rescues he performed on the Tibetan flank of Everest
   -in 2007 he was recognized by the Nepal Mountaineering Association for the high altitude (above 27,000 feet) rescue of a climber on Everest's South Side.

You can see why we are comforted that Anders has Dave as his Lead Guide on this climb.

One of the other interesting things about Dave is that he was part of the team that discovered George Mallory's remains at 27,000 feet on Everest in 1999.  Mallory (along with Andrew Irvine) died on Everest in 1924 and it still remains a mystery if they summitted first--as opposed to Hillary/Norgay in 1953.

One of the very cool things about Anders' expedition is that on the way up between Camp One and Camp Two, they crossed paths with a climber named Conrad Anker.  Conrad is a immensely respected climber that led the 1999 team with Dave when they discovered Mallory's remains.  Conrad is probably the climber that I hear Anders talk about the most--probably the one he respects the most.  Conrad, in 2011 was part of a three person team that summitted the central peak of Meru--aka the Shark Fin--long viewed as the hardest and most desireable first ascents in the world.  Over 35 of the best climbing expeditions had tried to ascend it prior to the 2011 climb--Anker's team was the first.  A couple of pics from that climb:

Anyways, Anders was able to interact with both Dave and Conrad--Conrad was returning from an aborted summit attempt as he has caught in the same electrical storm that the RMI team 6 was also caught by.  What a thrill for Anders!  It's like he was playing a real game of basketball with LeBron and Kobe....he is truly with some of the finest mountaineers on the planet--doing what makes them famous....

Sleep well Anders for tomorrow begins the truly steep and exposed climbing!


Brandon said...

Thanks for all the posts RC and JC! Good luck Ders!

Brandon said...

Thanks for all the posts RC and JC! Good luck Ders!