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EverestHistory.com: Pat Morrow


Pat Morrow and his wife Baiba are based in Canmore, Alberta at the heart of the Canadian Rockies. They are best known for their documentation of mountain cultures and adventures worldwide through photography, books, and more than 40 film and video projects. Together they have won eight national magazine awards in Canada. Their books include Beyond Everest: Quest for the Seven Summits; Himalayan Passage-Seven Months In The High Country of Tibet, Nepal, China, India and Pakistan; Footsteps in the Clouds - Kangchenjunga a Century Later; and The Yukon.

 

 

In 1987 Pat received the Order of Canada in recognition of his achievement of climbing the highest mountain on all seven continents. This project began with Mt Everest when he reached the summit during the first Canadian expedition in Oct. 1982, which he recorded on stills and video. Along with several friends, in 1985, Pat and Baiba founded Adventure Network, the first and still the only logistics/travel company to offer air access to the interior of Antarctica. At the Banff Festival of Mountain Films in 1990, Pat was honoured with the Summit of Excellence award for his multimedia work in chronicling the mountain experience.

 

 

The Seven Summits has become somewhat of a cottage industry for the Morrows. Originally, Pat was drawn to the project by the allure of the unknown. After he had helped pioneer the logistics necessary to reach the most inaccessible peaks, Mt Vinson and Carstensz Pyramid, and fine tuned them for others following the Seven Summits path, he was enticed back to several of the summits working as a hired gun on documentary film projects. In 2002, in recognition of the International Year of Mountains, Canada Post created a handsome postage stamp set based on Patıs photos of the Seven Summits.

 

 

Although Patıs high altitude climbing career spans more than 25 years, and averages one international climbing expedition per year, he is most happy while applying his climbing survival skills to long overland journeys. Rather than investing a month or more to a dull and dangerous existence on the side of a single mountain, why not see how far you can travel in a lateral direction using the same skill set? The first of these forays began in 1987, when Pat, Baiba and close friends Jeremy Schmidt and Wendy Baylor launched out on a circumnavigation of the entire Himalayan range. They set out from Lhasa in June and peddled, walked, surfed in the back of Chinese and Indian trucks, and generally hop-scotched their way across Tibet, into western China, down the Karakorum Highway through northern Pakistan, trekked in Kashmir, Garwhal, and eastern Nepal, completing a 10,000 km journey over seven months.

In 1994, with Japanese photographer Keichi Ozaki, and old chum Ang Nima Sherpa from Kunde village, they walked from Annapurna to Everest, linking six major treks into one. The 600km trek took them past most of Nepalıs 8000ers, and over four passes almost as high as Canadaıs Mt Logan, in 80 days.

 

 

A couple years later, they made a high level traverse of the Japan Alps, a lovely ridge walk from the Sea of Japan to Mt Fuji. It took 30 days and along the way they cruised over top approximately 30 - 3000 meter peaks. A year or two later, they followed in the century-old footsteps of Douglas Freshfield and premiere mountain photographer Vittorio Sella on a circumhike of Mt Kangchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. To add a bit of spice, they got an exorbitantly-priced permit from the IMF to attempt Mt Siniolchu, which Freshfield had described as "the most beautiful mountain in the world". Atrocious snow conditions turned them back within two days of the summit.

 

 

In the spring of 2001, they joined American biologist George Schaller, and climbers Jon Miceler and Jeff Boyd on a grueling 30 day trek on a search for the birthing ground of the Tibetan antelope. The trek took them far from the closest Uighur villages, through the heart of the Kunlun Range, bordering the Taklamakan desert. While they located the birthing grounds, they were unable to stick around long enough to photograph the actual birthing since their pack animals were starving. And most recently, they embarked on a film documentary project based on the remarkable work of American humanitarian Cynthia Hunt. They followed her on a grueling circuit of the villages she services with health education projects in the most remote region of Ladakh.

 

 

All Pictures above copyright İPat Morrow

 

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