January 1, 1967
Born and raised at the foot of the Tetons, Mark grew up on skis following his father as he was doing research on snow and avalanches. After finishing college and exploring Asia for a year, Mark returned to Jackson, took up mountaineering and started exploring the relentlessly vertical terrain of the Teton backcountry. It wasn’t long before he combined his mountaineering instincts with his ski abilities to tackle steep lines that had not yet been descended on skis. Continually raising the bar, he eventually completed first descents of the Hossack-McCowan Couloir and Otter Body routes on the Grand Teton, and high-altitude descents in Asia that included Shishapangma’s Unsch Couloir (26,000’) and Sepu Kangri (23,000’). Mark was the lead avalanche hazard forecaster and operations manager for Valdez Heli-Ski Guides until 2000 and 2005 respectively. Currently he is a Senior Exum Guide and a professional athlete, design consultant and catalog copy write for Marmot.
WORK EXPERIENCE: Current-- ◊ Exum Mountain Guides: 15 seasons guiding technical climbs in the Tetons, Wind Rivers, Needles of South Dakota and Devils Tower. Currently working as a Senior Guide, personnel manager and as an active member of its board of directors. ◊ American Avalanche Institute: 8 seasons as an Avanlanche course instructor providing Level I, II and III instruction on snowpack analysis and avalanche hazard forecasting. ◊ Marmot Mtn. Ltd.: Professional athlete, design board leader and catalog copy writer. Past-- ◊ Valdez Heli-ski Guides: 8 seasons as full time guide, Head Avalanche Hazard Forecaster and Operations Manager. ◊ Geographic Expeditions: Six years leading adventure tours, jeep safaris, treks and climbs in Tibet, China, Pakistan and Nepal. MISCELLANEOUS MOUNTAINEERING AND ADVENTURES: ◊ Exploratory ascents of 20,000’ plus peaks in Western China: Sepu Kangri (22,800’, first ascent), Peak 6734 (22,000’, first ascent), Geladaintong (21,651 ft., first American ascent via North Face), Chakragil (20,670 ft., first ascent of W. Ridge). ◊ Denali (20,320 ft.): Three ascents via the W. Buttress, Orient Expresss and Cassin Ridge. ◊ Sepu Kangri (23,000 ft.): First ascent. ◊ Shishapangma, Tibet (26,200 ft.): Ascent and ski descent of the North Face (from the summit ridge (25,670 ft.)). ◊ Vinson Massif (Antarctica): Ascent and ski descent. ◊ Mt. Shin (Antarctica): Ascent and ski descent. ◊ Bicycle tours in NW China and Tibet using locally purchased bicycles and gear, traveling over 1,000 km under disguise through closed areas. ◊ Exploration of Tushuk Tash Mountains in China’s Xinjiang Province, locating, identifying and climbing the world’s largest natural arch. EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: ◊ BS in Geology: Carleton College (graduated cum laude with honors). ◊ Level I, II and III Avalanche Course from the AAI. ◊ Recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellow, awarded for one year of travel and agricultural research in China.