Jake Norton

Everest Mountaineer
UN Ambassador

High in the Garhwal Himalaya, India | September, 2013

Enjoying a cup of tea and conversation, Nepal. | April, 2018

Enjoying a cup of tea and conversation, Nepal. | April, 2018

Hi, I’m Jake Norton, and I tend to wear a lot of hats: climber, guide, photographer, filmmaker, UN Ambassador, writer, father, husband, and so on. I guess that all points in one disparately focused direction: undefined.

I’ve never been one for strict definitions when it comes to life. For me, life has always been much like a mountain: there’s a distant end in sight, always looming far overhead and pushing us onward and upward. But, there are myriad valleys and ridges, winding trails, and unknown passes to get us there. And, sometimes the closer we get, the more we realize that distant summit was but a false one, and the real goal lies somewhere else, waiting to be discovered.

Most of my life - personal and professional - has revolved around the vertical realm, the high mountains of the world, but I’ve always been drawn to seeking out the stories, the nuance, the hidden valleys and remote villages often missed along the way. Our society tends to push us into silos of thought and experience, forcing us ever upward toward the summit, the C-Suite, the end goal, almost at all costs. For me, the deepest joys and sparks of passion have always come not from going ever higher, but from seeing a new mystery, an unanswered (for me) question, a trail branching off and disappearing into the unknown—and then following it, seeking the answers and the knowledge and the filling of a new cup.
While not for everyone, my horizontal traverse through the vertical realm has enabled me to develop a diversity of skillsets and a wide array of experiences. From eight Everest expeditions to unearthing 3,000 year old human remains on a cliff face, following the Ganges River source-to-sea to helping tell the stories of rural Kenyan farmers doing things differently, back-dooring essential supplies for Nepali earthquake victims to raising nearly $500,000 for global water and education causes, addressing the United Nations about mountains to addressing letters for Tibetan refugees, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to follow my passions along the horizontal axis of life and climb upward where appropriate into the vertical.

I don’t claim to be an expert on any one thing, but have been lucky enough to have knowledge and experience in a multitude of disciplines and mountains and experiences. I hope you’ll find this in my writing, in my photography and film, in my speaking and expeditions. We live in a remarkably complex world, and I’m excited to share with you the few corners I’ve explored, the stories I’ve experienced and those shared with me, and the nuggets of thought and wisdom I’ve gathered along the way.

Let’s take a hike together along the horizontal, and together we’ll find a vertical to go up.

On the summit of Shark’s Nose
Wind River Range • July, 1988

Nearing the summit of Mt. Rainier • July, 1987

High on Mont Blanc with my father • July, 1986

These three inspire me in everything I do. • Col Rodelle via ferrata | August, 2019

Helping raise funds and build awareness for exceptional non-profits, one summit at a time. • Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda, 2011

My first Everest summit, my bride “with” me
• May 18, 2002

Wild Love: Jake Norton
& Wende Valentine

Jake Norton and Wende Valentine hope to teach their children to find what they love in life, and for Jake, that means leaving home several times a year to quench an insatiable desire to climb the world’s tallest mountains. Wild Love is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into their lives during one expedition, and explores the joys and challenges of balancing a passion for adventure with a family life.

Webcast: Jake Norton Presenting at the United Nations

In December, 2014, Jake Norton was appointed Ambassador to the United Nations’ Mountain Partnership. He is only the second such Ambassador, sharing the honor with climbing legend, Reinhold Messner. On December 12, 2014, Jake was asked to present at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City on behalf of the Mountain Partnership, and help make the case for mountains, mountain environments, and mountain peoples to be included in the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals. The above video is a webcast of Jake and the other presenters speaking at the UN.

Cold Open • Everest’s Greatest Mystery

Released on Discovery Channel, this is a trailer for a documentary featuring Jake Norton and his team as they seek to unravel the most famous mystery the slopes of Mt. Everest have known.

Microsoft Surface Pro Endorsement

Microsoft Surface sponsored one of Jake’s filmmaking expeditions to follow one of the most profoundly important rivers in the world. This is a 2-minute story of how that technology made the film possible.

For additional information, contact me.

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