The Highest Man on Earth

Dave Mauro’s successful summits

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dave Mauro is a regular guy.

He’s a financial advisor in Bellingham. He performs improv at the Upfront Theatre. Oh, and he’s just finished climbing the Seven Summits—the highest points on each continent—with an ascent of Mt. Everest, Earth’s highest mountain.

It all began in 1993 when he was talked into climbing Mt. Baker. He had never climbed a mountain before and the experience was not great. The mountain was socked in, and he was sweaty and tired. After climbing down from the summit, he considered his mountain climbing career to be over.

But in 2006 he got a phone call from his brother-in-law Ty Hardt, an Anchorage, Alaska climber/TV anchorman and filmmaker. Hardt was planning a climb of Denali, North America’s highest peak. His intention was to film a high-definition documentary of the climb and he wanted someone to play the role of a novice climber to add dramatic appeal. He wanted Dave.

At the time, Mauro was going through some tough times and, although he didn’t expect to make it to the top, in his words, “I doubted failing would bother me much.”

To everyone’s surprise, he found himself on the summit of Denali on June 13, 2007. It got him thinking. And climbing. It changed his life. By this spring, he had reached the high point of every continent except one: Mt. Everest, the highest point in Asia—and the world.

To accomplish this, he braved the bitterly cold winds of Antarctica to climb Vinson Massif, endured a literally hair-raising experience in an electrical storm atop South America’s Aconcagua, managed a politically challenging visit to Mt. Elbrus in Eastern Europe, suffered whiteout conditions on Africa’s Kilimanjaro, and overcame the threats of tribal warfare, leech-infested swamps and yes, cannibalism in New Guinea while ascending the Carstensz Pyramid.

Saving the best for last, at 3:42am May 20, Mauro stood on Everest’s summit, the highest man on Earth. In so doing he became only the 65th American to climb all of the seven summits.

Now he’s back in Bellingham, where he has been coming to terms with a return to “normal” life—a life lived within the confines of comfort and routine, lacking the by-now-familiar extremes of his adventures.

But, as Mauro is quick to point out, sharing the experiences of adventure is a satisfying endeavor in its own right. He will be giving a multimedia presentation about his experience on Everest, “Reaching the Sky: Bellingham to Everest on Mt. Everest” at 7:30pm Tues., September 10 at 7 at Backcountry Essentials in Bellingham. Come early, stay late and share in his glory.

SVCR Innings
More Outdoors...
Ski to Sea
Back to the basics

Shortly before Christmas, Whatcom Events sent out a press release letting the media—and the public—know that registration for the perennially popular 44th annual Ski to Sea Race would commence on the second day of the new year.

Although that was welcome news to the racers and athletic…

more »
Ride On
Bike to Work Day

If you’ve never experienced the thrill of rolling into a “celebration station” on Bike to Work & School Day, another chance is coming to be part of the excitement on Fri., May 19 at a variety of locales in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County.

The rules of engagement are simple. As…

more »
Sea Change
Women on the water

Early in her maritime career, Captain Deborah Dempsey met plenty of people who had a hard time believing she could crew or command a 600-foot ship.

But during her 40-year stint at sea, Dempsey proved her worth time and again, becoming not only the first woman to command a cargo ship on an…

more »
BC Morgan Horse Show

9:00am| Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Twelfth Night

7:30pm|Philip Tarro Theatre

School of Rock

7:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Boating Center Open

10:00am|Community Boating Center

Back to the basics


Ski to Sea Race

7:00am|Mt. Baker to Bellingham Bay

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Images of Resilience Farewell

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Fairhaven Festival

12:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Audubon at the Museum

2:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Art of Jazz


Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books


9:30pm|Green Frog

Lester and Hyldahl Village Books
Fermented Vegetables

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Gather Round

7:00pm|Honey Moon Mead & Cider

Chamber Concerts

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

see our complete calendar »

Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Trove Lester and Hyldahl Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Bellingham Farmer’s Market