Jake Norton’s life has revolved around the mountains. His first real climb- Mount Rainier – in 1986 when he was 12, taught Jake that the mountains were his calling. Since then, he has worked as a professional mountain guide and photographer, taking clients up peaks around the world and creating images for top publications.
Jake’s expeditions have taken him to the summits of five of the Seven Summits (Everest, Aconcagua, McKinley, Kilimanjaro, and Vinson). Additionally, he has led or co-led expeditions to Cho Oyu, Gurla Mandhata, Nevado Huascaran, and countless other peaks across the globe. Jake helped discover the remains of George Mallory on Everest in 1999, and returned to Everest in 2001 and 2004 to search for additional answers to the mystery of Mallory and Irvine.
Jake is a 1996 graduate of the Colorado College, where he majored in History & Philosophy with a South Asian emphasis. He was a founding board member of Porter’s Progress, and serves on the Board for the American Mountaineering Museum and the International Advisory Committee for The Mountain Institute.
For years, Jake has wanted to leverage the inherent drama and visibility of climbing mountains to benefit a far wider audience than simply climbers. That idea is the genesis of Challenge21, and represents an exciting new chapter in Jake’s life. A Challenge21 co-founder, Jake will attempt to climb the Triple Seven Summits – the three highest peaks on each continent – to help combat the world’s most pressing development needs: water and sanitation.
Jake is an athlete and photographer for First Ascent by Eddie Bauer. He lives in Golden, Colorado, with his wife, Wende Valentine, and their two children.