Noted climber Conrad Anker, one of the top athletes sponsored by The North Face, whose trademark saying is “Never Stop Exploring,” recently told friends that he actually stopped exploring “back around 2008 or so.”
“It was exhausting,” he said. “Not the physical part of exploring, that’s easy. It was the mental and emotional aspects that ground me down. Finally, I just said screw it.”
It was a moment of candor for the man whose resume includes radical first ascents on some of the world’s most dramatic peaks, multiple Everest summits, and the discovery of the body of Everest pioneer George Mallory.
“I was into it for the longest time,” Anker said. “I never stopped exploring. And on my travels it wasn’t so hard. But at home, it was brutal. Every time I went to the market, I took a new route. When I ran out of new routes, I’d take a different vehicle, or ride a bike, or walk. After I visited every place in Bozeman by a different path, I ran out of bikes, vehicles, and different shoes. I bought a Segway. I bought roller blades.
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was my kids. ‘Hey, Dad, shouldn’t you be exploring a new route to the bathroom?’ ‘Hey, Dad, shouldn’t you be exploring something for dinner other than pizza?’ That’s when I said, the hell with it.”
When news of Anker’s admission leaked into the forums at SuperTopo, The North Face issued a press release supporting him. “Conrad has been a valued member of The North Face team for decades, the embodiment of Never Stop Exploringâ„¢, and we have no doubt that in the months and years to come he will find himself seeking new terrain. A week ago, for example, he found himself in a 7-11 in Libby, Montana, that he’d always been meaning to check out but hadn’t.”
Anker said, “You know what, it’s actually kind of a relief to get this off my shoulders.” And then he went back to his pizza.
The Adventurey Report is almost certainly not true.