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 Mountain Experience Everest 2001 Expedition: The Team

Jason Edwards: Expedition Leader

Maximo Henostroza: Senior Guide, UIAGM Certified Mountain Guide

Maximo is one of Mountain Experience's more experienced technical guides, and has been guiding in the mountains of Peru since the late 1970's. His ascents include most of Peru's challenging climbs, including many ascents of Huascaran, Alpamayo, Pisco, Huandoy, and a host of others. 

Mark Tucker: Senior Guide

Mark Tucker (Tuck) grew up hiking and backpacking with his family in California’s High Sierras. As a member of the Boy Scouts and his high school’s Mountain Ecology Club, Tuck spent much of his youth exploring the outdoors with these groups. At age fourteen, Tuck climbed the highest mountain in the lower forty-eight states, Mt. Whitney, which launched his “climbing career.” On the day of his high school graduation, he stood on top of the largest single standing mountain on the earth, Mauna Loa (13,679’), on the island of  Hawaii. As Tuck puts it, he graduated literally “at the top of his class.” 

Tuck has been climbing for 25 years, and his ascents includes more than a dozen trips to Kilimanjaro, as well as many trips to Ecuador, Aconcagua (22,841’—8 expeditions), Mexican Volcanoes, 12 trips to the peaks of Huayna Potosi (19,870’) and Illimani (21,201’) in Bolivia, Mt. Blanc in France, 4 trips to Elbrus (18,481’) in Russia, as well as a guide on Vinson (16,067’), in Antarctica. On the “fringe of the artic circle,” Tuck guided an expedition to Gunnjornsfjeld, Greenland, where they climbed the highest peak “in the north.” More locally in Washington State, he has guided over 120 programs on Mt. Rainier (for Rainier Mountaineering Inc., RMI) and has summitted “The Mountain” at least that many times.

In 1989, Tuck reached the summit Everest (29,035’) via the North East Ridge as a member of Jim Whittaker’s Tri Nation (USA, Russia & China) “Peace Climb.” Since then, Tuck has worked as a hunting guide in Alaska, a senior guide for Rainier Mountaineering, Inc., starting in 1985, and also guides for several other companies. He has a great passion for guiding, teaching people the essentials of mountain travel, and helping fellow climbers achieve their goals. He loves to meet the diverse range of adventure minded people, as well as the rarely visited cultures and places he encounters


Rob Kennedy: Born in 1958, Rob loves adventure and has been exploring wilderness areas for over 20 years by canoe, kayak, sail, bike, ski and of course his favorite, by foot. At age 21 Rob biked solo across the North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia during a two year break from Northwestern University as part of his personal quest to circle the globe on less than $500.

Over the past few years Rob has focused his efforts on the sport of mountaineering where he has climbed in Aconcagua in Argentina as well as numerous peaks in Nepal including Lobuche, Mera, and Ama Dablam. In North America, Rob enjoys climbing in Alaska where he summited Mt. McKinley and many other mountains in Colorado. In the summer of 2000 Rob climbed the Diamond on Longs Peak with his brother Jim, and prior to that he climbed Denali with his brother Dave as part of a two-man team. Rob has had a lifelong passion for photography, and was awarded a Vivitar Scholarship in college for his cultural images of Nepal and his climbing photos of Mount Baker, Washington. More recently, Rob has started an online stock photography company specializing in adventure photography. When he is not exploring, Rob can be found running his homebuilding company and spending time with his college sweetheart and wife Clarissa raising their family.

Dave Rodney: Dave was born on the flatlands of North America, has broken his back in four places (in a ski-jumping accident), and has undergone four knee reconstructive surgeries.  Despite all of this, he has embarked upon a rather impressive career in both the climbing and corporate worlds.

Dave successfully summitted Everest on May 13, 1999, on an unguided climb. Since then, his work (still images, videography, and writing) has been showcased in magazines, newspapers, books, textbooks, and television features around the world.  He has also climbed Mt. Aconcagua, and numerous other mountains in South America, North America, Asia, Australia, and the West Indies--serving as tour-guide on countless climbs.  Dave possesses a burning passion and appreciation for the opportunity to experience other cultures, learning about his personal journey and his relationship with the environment...and passing on these insights to friends, family, kids, and corporations (a vocation, mission, and call he is very serious about).

In the spring of 1997, Dave served as the communications coordinator for an American/Canadian Everest expedition, developing and executing the first ever business/education curriculum and interactive e-mail/web-site of its kind--direct from base camp.  He also took documentary footage and assisted in rescues on that trip.  His team received a Special Achievement Medallion for their Everest efforts in September of 1997, and Dave was acclaimed "one of 1999's most influential people in the city"...but he is most proud of the recognition he has received for his service on numerous charity, education, and civic committees and councils.  He believes that the fifteen minutes of fame associated with the world’s highest peak may be best utilized on those who have “Everests” to climb, every day. 

In the academic and professional realms, Dave has earned a number of degrees, worked in third world countries, and built his own business--all while being involved in careers in education, writing, and photo-videography (in various countries around the world). Currently, Dave is writing “Above & Beyond Your Peak Potential…A Personal and Professional Quest for Success”, doing documentary work, and speaking professionally…while preparing to attempt to become the only person in the history of his country to summit Mt. Everest twice (in the name of the National Diabetes Association, and the Light Up Nepal project--since Dave believes in "climbing with a conscience”.)

Deryl Kelly: At 25 years old this student at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, studying Economics, is training hard to become the youngest Canadian to summit Everest. Deryl has instructed wall climbing in Perth, Australia and the University of Alberta's Campus Outdoor Centre. During the summer you can find Deryl working as co-coordinator and councilor for the Youth Adventure Camps through the university, teaching kids activities such as hiking, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and paddling. In Deryl's words, "Dad [Leo above] started me climbing 19 years ago and over the years I have found the mountains a place that challenges me, teaches me and even sometimes frightens me. Everest is one of the advanced courses of life and you've got to be a fast learner. Being a good climber is a learned skill based on creativity, passion, commitment, practice, nerve, and experience. It's a survival game that's dangerous when you're ignorant or sometimes, just plain unlucky but the rewards far outweigh the risk. It's something you really have to experience to believe. I don't think any one can ever conquer a mountain, you are just allowed to visit and success is based on how well you deal with the puzzles and problems the peak presents. I've walked away from more peaks than I have summitted, and at times with my tail between my legs. Getting your butt kicked is a big part of the fun and challenge. Knowing when you are over your head, but still moving confidently forward, because of what you know and what you feel, is what makes good climbers great. Having the skills to always walk away is what makes us extraordinary."

Deryl has climbed all over the Canadian Rockies, Australia, New Zealand, continental United States and Alaska, since he was six years old. His climbing experience encompasses many methods including: mountaineering, ice climbing, rock climbing and ski-mountaineering including solo ascents on both mountaineering, ice and rock routes. The highlight of Leo and Deryl's climbing career together occurred in June 1999, when they became the first Canadian father and son team to successfully climb Mt. McKinley, Alaska.

Leo Kelly: Leo was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Prince Edward Island in 1973. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1975. Between 1982 and 1999 he climbed most of the major mountains in the Canadian Rockies with his son Deryl, who began climbing at the age of six. In 1997, Leo and Dave were part of an all-Canadian team to successfully climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, South America. In 1998, Leo and Deryl climbed Mt. Lefroy and Mt. Victoria in the Canadian Rockies. The following spring, Leo and Deryl climbed Mt. Athabasca during a snowstorm, as training for their expedition successful expedition to Mt. McKinley.

Francois Langlois: Francois is the youngest of 5 boys, grew up in Montreal Canada, and has a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering. He has built a successful business as a Financial Advisor, working with Merrill Lynch for the last 7 years. Sports and physical activities have always been an integral part of Francois' life. Some of his activities include: Rock climbing, mountain climbing and ice climbing

Francois had an affinity for the outdoors from a very young age, going on several camping and fishing trips with his father and brothers. He would often spend his summers in the north of Quebec and has worked as a tree planter during the summer holidays. He started taking an interest in rock climbing while in University, but became more active in the sport after graduation. His interest quickly spilled over into ice climbing and mountaineering as well. Some of his climbing expeditions include: 

--Mt. Rainier, Washington (14 400 ft)
--Liberty Bell, Washington, Rock climbing (8 000 ft)
--Rock climbing in Squamish B.C.
--Mt. Washington, New Hampshire, Ice climbing (6 000 ft)
--Eco-Challenge Training Camp, Whistler B.C., (a 60 hour long, non-stop event)

--Aconcagua 2000

In his words, "To attempt a summit on Everest has been a profound dream of mine for a very long time. It represents so much more to me than merely climbing a difficult and high mountain. I could express many reasons for my decision: passion, challenge, commitment, accomplishment, and so on.  But none of these reasons measure up to the ultimate one: experience. Every Everest climb is unique and can't be duplicated.  No one can predict the outcome because of the numerous factors involved: weather, physiological reactions, timing, altitude, etc. And although the summit is not guaranteed, the experience is sure to be one worth sharing. Making it to the top of the world is certainly my goal, but it is the journey that will bring an invaluable dimension to my life. Sharing that journey along the way is my mission."

Mountain Experience Everest Expedition will be a featured expedition on EverestNews.com in Spring 2001.

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