iceaxe1996 American Top Of The World Expedition

The Expedition The Team The Dream The Future The Video
imagemap of the team

Click on photo for member biographies

1996 American Top Of The World Expedition Team Members:

Front Row, Left to Right: Ken Zerbst; Littleton, Colorado- Jim Schaefer; Milwaukee, Wisconsin- Galen Rowell; Berkeley, California- Dr. Terri Baker; Morrison, Colorado- Bob Palais, Ph.D.; Salt Lake City, Utah
Back Row, Left to Right: Steve Gardiner; Billings, Montana- John Jancik; Morrison, Colorado- Peter Skafte, Ph.D.; Santa Barbara, California- Dennis Schmitt; Berkeley, California- Joe Sears, Ph.D.; Bozeman, Montana

Front Row-Kneeling

Ken Zerbst; Littleton, Colorado
Ken's adventure oriented mountaineering background emphasizes extended back country trekking with experience throughout the western United States, areas of Canada and several regions of Alaska. He enjoys organizing and leading climbing and adventure oriented trips. Ken is well versed in wilderness skills and an avid cross-country skier and an expedition co-leader.

Jim Schaefer; Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jim is an avid explorer and mountaineer who thrives on cold weather adventures. His journeys have taken him throughout the backcountry of the western United States, Canada and Alaska in search of challenging summer and winter climbs. During the past 14 years, Jim has made numerous ascents in the Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains including prominent peaks of Montana, Colorado, and California , and has shown a continuing interest in cross country skiing and extended backpack trips. Jim, who specializes in winter photography and has had his work published in magazines and shown on television, is the team's official video photographer.

Galen Rowell; Berkeley, California
Galen is internationally recognized as one of the world's premier nature and mountaineering photographers. Author of a multitude of books (including Mountain Light and In the Throne of the Mountain Gods), Galen is also an accomplished mountaineer with over 1,000 climbs and ten major Himalayan expeditions to his credit. From China to the Canadian Rockies, Tibet to the California High Sierra, Pakistan to Alaska, Galen has photographed and climbed in some of the most remote, spectacular places on Earth.

Dr. Terri Baker; Morrison, Colorado
Terri is a specialist in Internal Medicine whose recreational interest is in wilderness medicine. She has regularly lectured on environmental medicine topics for universities and at national medical meetings. Her long-distance backpacking and ski mountaineering has taken her throughout the Sierra nevada and Cascade ranges. Terri, who also enjoys both technical rock and ice climbing, serves as the team's physician.In 1971 Terri attended a White House ceremony where she recieved a Presidential scolar award representing the state of Nevada

Bob Palais, Ph.D.; Salt Lake City, Utah
Bob is an avid wilderness adventurer who works as a mathematician at Westminster College, in Salt Lake City. He enjoys escaping to the mountains and desert in Utah and climbing with friends all over the U.S., and on travels in Tibet, Kazakhstan, Russia, Europe and Brazil. He has been president of the Harvard Mountaineering Club, and a regional coordinator for the Access Fund.

Back Row-Standing

Steve Gardiner; Billings, Montana
As a high school English and journalism teacher in Billings, Montana, Steve is the author of Devil's Tower National Monument: A Climber's Guide and Why I Climb: Personal Insights of Top Climbers, as well as hundreds of articles in such publications as The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune, Outdoor Life, Summit, and many others. He enjoys cross-country skiing and canoeing and has climbed in the Alps, Andes, and Alaska,including many first ascents. In 1988, he reached 25,000 feet on Mt. Everest with the Wyoming Centennial Everest Expedition. Steve has also served for four years on a committee with the National Board for Professional Standards in Washington D.C.

John Jancik; Morrison, Colorado
John's trekking and mountaineering adventures have taken him to Alaska, Canada, throughout the western United States and Mexico. Over the last ten years, John has added multiple winter ascents of prominent Rocky Mountain peaks to his adventure vitae. John, who is also an avid long distance runner, serves as an Expedition co-leader and the team's geologist.

Peter Skafte, Ph.D.; Santa Barbara, California
Peter is a native Danish anthropologist whose expedition background encompassed the Globe, from the mountains of Lapland, Cambodia, Nepal and India, to the Western United States. In 1986, he participated in an international research expedition to northeast Greenland. Peter's publications have appeared in books, journals and popular magazines (including the Smithsonian and American West.)

Dennis Schmitt; Berkeley, California
A true Arctic explorer and mountaineer, Dennis leads trips throughout the Arctic including Greenland and the North Pole. In 1994 he lead an expedition into the British Empire Range on Ellesmere Island which included first ascents, and the mapping of glaciers, canyons and natural arches. Dennis is an anthropologist and speaks 3 Eskimo dialects. Many enjoy his photographs and stories as he lectures across the country as an expert on the Arctic environment.

Joe Sears, Ph.D.; Bozeman, Montana
Joe is a chemist who manages a university instrumentation laboratory for conducting chemical characterizations. He has published scientific findings, including environmental and natural products related investigations in peer journals. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast who marvels at the beauty, intricacies and interactions of nature. Climbing adventures have taken him to Alaska, the Cascades, Sierras and Tetons. Rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, extended mountain hikes and runs, canoeing and back country skiing are among Joe's outdoor activities.