About Our Team

Our Team:

Our team is made up of four friends who have gotten to know each other while working as instructors at the National Outdoor Leadership School.  We are excited to take on the challenge of this cutting edge route due to several factors:

  • Technical skills: Not only is our team made up of strong climbers with over 40 big walls under their belt, first ascents around the world and plenty of time at high altitude, we are also well trained mountain guides with years of experience.
  • Leadership skills: Technical skills alone can’t get you to the top. Fortunately, this team is well versed in expeditionary tactics, we know how to communicate well, and we possess the risk management skills to make the right decisions to keep us reasonably safe while tackling this giant.
  • Our expedition has received recognition from the highly competitive AAC Lyman Spitzer Cutting-Edge Climbing Award. This program promotes state-of-the-art climbing through financial support of small, lightweight climbing teams attempting bold first ascents or difficult repeats of the most challenging routes in the world’s great mountain ranges. We received a $3000 award for this expedition.

Josh Beckner – info@expeditiontraining.org

Josh has a wide breadth of experience that he has gained on over a dozen international expeditions in 9 countries.  He has climbed a number of notable routes in the Himalayas, Andes, Coast Range (BC), the Arctic and Patagonia. He is a certified AMGA rock guide, a senior NOLS instructor and has put up significant first ascents on alpine walls up to 3,000 feet high in some of the most remote corners on the planet. Josh also founded and directs the School for International Expedition Training (SIET) www.expeditiontraining.org

  • ‘The Ivory Pillar’, Snaggle Tooth, Greenland (FA), (V 5.10+, 3,000′); ‘Voices in the Night,’ Cerro Piritas, Argentine Patagonia (FA), (V 5.11, 3,000′); ‘Franco-Argentine Route,’ Fitzroy, Argentina (ED 5.11b, M4, AI 50° 2,500’)

Jake Tipton-

Jake began working for NOLS several years ago after finishing active duty in Iraq as a member of the United States Marine Corps.  Personal and professional climbing expeditions have brought him to Alaska, Canada, Spain, and Italy, and most recently to Patagonia.  In the winter of 2011 he is climbing around El Chalten in southern Argentina.

  • East Face, Lotus Flower Tower, Cirque of the Unclimbables, Canada (18 pitches; 5.10+); Desert Shield (solo), Zion (9 pitches; 5.11 A3); Zodiac (solo), El Capitan, (16 pitches; 5.8 A3); Rubio Y Azul, Aguja Medialuna (12 pitches, 5.11); 5.13- sport routes in Europe.

Ben Venter- 

In the past 5 years, Ben has spent over one hundred weeks teaching mountaineering and rock climbing courses as a senior instructor for NOLS in the western U.S., New Zealand, Chile and Canada.  He currently balances working in the wilderness with an administrative position at the NOLS base in Tucson, Arizona.  Personal expeditions have spanned the American continents from the Bugaboos to Patagonia and across the Pacific to Australia and New Zealand.  Ben is also an avid cyclist and trail runner. He will be taking his AMGA Rock Guide Exam this coming October.

  • Claro de Luna, St. Exupery, Argentina (V 5.11); The Nose (solo), El Capitan, (VI 5.10, C1); Moonlight Buttress, Zion (V, 5.12a, C1, onsighted pitches up to 12a).

Willy Oppenheim-

Currently pursuing a doctorate in Education on a Rhodes Scholarship at University of Oxford, Willy has climbed alpine rock and snow in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.  Prior to beginning at Oxford in October 2010, Willy lived in a tent for six years and taught rock climbing, mountaineering, and skiing at NOLS in Canada and the western United States. Willy is also the founder of Omprakash, (www.omprakash.org) a non-profit that gathers support for health, education and environmental projects around the world.

  • Chimborazo, Ecuador (20,565’); Bienvenidos a mi Insomnia, Valle Cochamo, Chile (V, 5.11a); Mt. Queen Bess, British Columbia (partial ascent of new route; 50 degree snow, 5.7)

2 Responses to “About Our Team”

  1. Susan Tipton Says:

    I will be following your adventure every step of the way!

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