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David Morton

David Morton

Guide: Washington, International

A professional guide and photographer, David has reached the summit of Mt. Everest six times and is one of the premier international expedition leaders operating today.

A long time Northwest mountaineer, he has guided and climbed throughout the Cascades, Andes, the Himalaya, the Altai, Alaska Range, and Caucuses in Russia. He has traveled extensively over his lifetime and has worked as a full-time guide since 2000. A natural leader, David has been described as the ultimate guide, instructor and friend while still spending time on a number of technical personal climbs in the Himalaya, Alaska and South America. David has led expeditions to all of the Seven Summits (the highest peak on each continent) as well as climbs and expeditions in Mongolia, Mexico, Bolivia and other Himalayan peaks. He has guided to the top of Carstensz Pyramid on the island of Papua on four occasions.

David enjoys teaching the fundamentals as well as guiding technical ascents. His natural leadership and broad knowledge of Nepali history and politics makes his expeditions particularly memorable.

Photography has long been a part of the complete experience of the mountains for David. His images have been used in a variety of advertising campaigns including multiple media types. Capturing the essence of these mountain locales and people is his passion.

He is part of the First Ascent/Eddie Bauer athlete and guide team that is an integral part of developing their evolving technical clothing and gear line.

During his 2004-2008 seasons on Everest with Alpine Ascents International, 90 climbers reached the summit under his guidance. Recent seasons in the Himalaya include expeditions to K2, Makalu, and Everest working as a photographer and videographer for Eddie Bauer’s new line, First Ascent. In spring 2012 David returned to Everest to make attempt on the West Ridge of Everest as part of a commemorative expedition honoring the 1963 American ascent. The team returned empty handed due to unusually dry conditions on the route.

He has spent winters guiding ice in Ouray and works in summer at Exum Mountain Guides in the Tetons.

During two winter seasons, David was an instructor at The Khumbu Climbing School and continues to support the program in a variety of ways. He was a board member of the Climb for Cancer for 5 years and works with the NGO Spinal Health International on their Nepal concerns.

“After many years, I still think it’s beautiful that people dream of climbing mountains. It’s wide-eyed, childlike and magical. As a guide, being part of those dreams and experiences is privilege.”

10-year

Certifications

Wilderness First Responder
Avalanche Level III
Leave No Trace Trainer

Awards & Recognition

2002 AAC Mountain Adventure Award

ALPINE ASCENTS BLOG

  • Staying Hydrated in the Backcountry

    Sometimes the harsh environment encountered in mountaineering can make even the simplest tasks difficult. Staying hydrated is a perfect example – something that is among the most banal of tasks in the lowcountry can become exceedingly complicated in a cold, snowy environment. When all available water is locked up in solid form as snow or […]

  • webbing, anchor, water knot

    KNOTS AND HITCHES: THE WATER KNOT

    The following is the fifth in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches used in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the bowline and ring bend, and hitches like the Klemheist and Prusik! The water knot is a simple knot used to tie two ends of webbing […]

  • Knots and Hitches: The Figure 8 Follow Through

    The following is the fifth in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches we use in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the bowline, ring bend- and hitches like the Klemheist & Prusik! The Figure 8 follow through is a standard knot used for many different purposes […]

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Alpine Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Denali National Park and Preserve and Mount Rainier National Park.
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