Don Bowie is a Canadian high-altitude alpinist (or as we like to say, an “earth astronaut,” who specializes in navigating new routes, first ascents and speed records—all while climbing without supplemental oxygen.
Born with the instinct to seek fresh challenges, Bowie was an avid hiker as a child, always aiming to summit—and as fast as he could. In 1994, he participated in his first major expedition in the Chilean Andes, and decided to time himself and endure the journey without using oxygen. He quickly learned he was naturally able to handle the extreme challenges—which sparked his desire to push himself that much more.
Bowie traveled the world, climbing in Nepal, Pakistan and South America, and in 2007, reached the summit of K2, one of the most grueling endeavors known to man. Of course, Bowie accomplished this feat without supplemental oxygen.
Since then, the Canadian has continued to explore the planet’s tallest peaks and create new firsts, both for himself and the rest of the world. Bowie is also an avid conservationist, always aiming to reduce his carbon footprint while taking giant leaps for mankind.
2011 Cho Oyu (summit) with Ueli Steck
2010 Gasherbrum I (8068m/26,650 ft) Karakoram Range, Pakistan, Japanese Couloir (summit)
2008/2009 Broad Peak (8047m/26,401 ft) Karakoram, Pakistan, West Ridge, in winter (to 7000m)
2008 unnamed peak (5811m/19,065) Hispar, Pakistan, first ascent (summit)
2007 K2 (8611m/28,253 ft) Karakoram, Pakistan, new route (to 6800m) Abruzzi Spur (summit)
2006 Annapurna (8091m/26,545 ft) Nepal Himalaya, East Ridge, new route (to 7300m)
2005 Broad Peak (8047m/26,401 ft) Karakoram, Pakistan, West Ridge, Solo (to 7800m)
2008 Spirit of Mountaineering Commendation, for his attempted rescue of former partner, Basque climber Inaki Ochoa de Olza.
Don is also featured in the Spanish documentary, The Pure Life, which is based on the rescue attempt.