Ed Viesturs made a career as a professional mountaineer. He originally thought to work as a veterinarian, but after earning his degree in Veterinary Medicine his desire to climb full time changed the course of his life. Viesturs’ eventual goal was to climb all of all of the world’s fourteen 8000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen. This was a project that he christened Endeavor 8000. His goal, which eventually took 18 years to complete, ended on May 12, 2005, with his ascent of Annapurna, one of the world’s most treacherous peaks. He is one of only a handful of climbers in history (and the only American) to accomplish this. That same year Viesturs was awarded National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year. During his career, Viesturs has also made seven successful ascents of 29,028’ Mt. Everest, three of these without supplemental oxygen.
Viesturs still spends his time in the mountains, is an Ambassador for Rolex, and works as a design consultant for several outdoor equipment manufacturers. Ed also serves as a spokesman and advocate for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), an organization that instills critical life skills in under-resourced youth through wilderness mentoring experiences that help keep kids in school, reduce violence and drug use.
Viesturs resides in Ketchum Idaho with his wife Paula of 22 years, and their four children.