Objective Unknown: A Climbing Adventure in Pakistan
- Mazama Mountaineering Center 527 Southeast 43rd Avenue Portland, OR, 97215 United States (map)
Have you ever set off for a climb without knowing exactly what you were going to climb? Or even where you were going? Chris Wright and Graham Zimmerman, 2016 Mazama Bob Wilson Grant recipients, did just that a few months ago. They will share their recent experience in Pakistan with us tonight, in addition to discussing some of their previous exploits in the mountains as a team.
With plane tickets and visas in hand they hopped a plane to Pakistan with luggage full of climbing gear, unsure of what their actual destination would be (their carefully crafted climbing plan had to be scrapped due to the whims of the government). Yet they were certain they were headed to a grand adventure and were ready to tackle anything that came their way.
- Zimmerman, Wright establish new route in Alaska’s St. Elias Range, Rock and Ice.
- The Search: Graham Zimmerman, The Firnline.
Chris grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains before finding climbing while studying cinematography at New York University, and has been hooked ever since. After beginning his guiding career in 2006 with a move to the Pacific Northwest, Chris has climbed, guided, and skied across the world from the Western US to Alaska, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Nepal, Africa, Mexico, the Andes, and Canada. His climbing achievements include everything from Yosemite big walls to new routes and virgin summits, and his guiding career has taken him from Ouray to Denali, and up and down Mt. Hood too many times to count.
An avid first ascensionist, Chris has received the prestigious Mugs Stump and American Alpine Club Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards for his climbs in India and Nepal, where he made the first ascents of multiple routes on unclimbed peaks, including Pangbuk North (6,589m) via Purgation (VI WI6+ M6), which is also the title of a feature article published in the 2014 American Alpine Journal. That same year’s journal also includes a new route Chris and his partner Scott Adamson opened on the famed East Face of the Alaska’s Mooses Tooth, Terror (VI WI6 M7 R/X A2). In addition to climbs in the greater ranges, Chris has also climbed new routes from Oregon to Norway, and has made significant repeats of alpine classics, including a free-solo ascent of the Matterhorn North Face in only four hours and fifteen minutes, and guided ascents of the Matterhorn, the Mont Blanc, Grand Capucin and Aiguille Verte, among others.
He is easily excited by coffee, beer, and wine, and greasy food of any sort, especially Thai fried chicken.
Thirty year old male. Heavy drinker. Of coffee. Sporter of Moustache. Enamored with alpinism and the experiences, challenges and relationships that come from it.
Born in New Zealand raised in the Northwest. After being exposed to alpine terrain in the Cascades he moved back to NZ where he cut his teeth in the Southern Alps and became a strong part of the Kiwi climbing community. Then, after graduating from university in 2007 he moved back to the states and has been focused on climbing as it applies to alpinism ever since. This has taken him on expeditions from Alaska to Patagonia to Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan and all over the lower 48 and Canada where he has established numerous new routes on rock, ice and snow. He has been awarded the New Zealand Alpinist of the Year Award, the American Alpine Club’s Cutting Edge Award and been a finalist for the Piolet D’or.
Outside of his climbing career Graham is a producer and director with Bedrock Film Works. In this role he specializes in creative development, complex logistics and the integration of film and other content into marketing strategy.