#20 Interview: Guy Cotter – When things go wrong on Mt. Everest – Part II

Checking in with Mountain Expert: Guy Cotter, IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide and CEO of Adventure Consultants

Guy Cotter is an internationally qualified mountain guide who owns and runs Adventure Consultants, an international mountain guiding operation that is based in New Zealand. Guy and his team lead expeditions to the highest mountains on every continent including Mt Everest every year. Guy has climbed Mt Everest 5 times and has climbed 7 of the 8,000m peaks. Guy also works in the film industry as an advisor and producer on mountain movies such as `Everest’ and `Vertical Limit’.

We talk about:

  • Guy gives an overlook of the whole situation on the Expedition April 2015 when the earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 occurred
  • Guy explains what happened during that earthquake and while he was up at Camp I with 7 clients
  • He explains the situation in the Base Camp and how he stayed focused and sharp on decision making and risk management
  • A rough insight how clients handled that situation and how Guy organized the situation and the transfer back to Kathmandu
  • The Sherpa Future Fund – we would really appreciate if you could help to support the Sherpas! Links to the Fund are below!

Services you can book with Guy Cotter and Adventure Consultants:

  • Guided Mountaineering
  • Trekking and Polar travel
  • Expeditions to the Seven Summits
  • Mountaineering Instruction and Training Courses
  • Alpine film Producer, Locations and Safety

Guy Cotter’s Ascents List (Revised: 28. May 2019)

  • 2019 – Climbed/guided Lobuche peak and Island peak in Nepal spring
  • 2018 – Led Triple Crown expedition, attempting Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse. Missed summit of Nuptse by 200m but made successful ascent of Everest (5th time) on 16 May and Lhotse (2nd time) on 17 May
  • 2017 – Led two ascents of Vinson Massif Antarctica December 15 and 25 2018
  • 2017 – First ascent of Dhaulagiri 8,167m by New Zealander, worlds 7th highest peak. Summited 22nd May with group 7 clients, 3 guides and 10 Sherpa. Guys 7th 8,000m peak
  • 2016 – Led Shackleton Crossing of South Georgia
  • 2015 – Leader of Adventure Consultants Everest expedition when 25 April 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred
  • 2014 – Led expedition to Mt Manaslu. No summit this time
  • 2014 – Advisor and Safety for Hollywood `Everest’ movie
  • 2013 – Guy led an ascent to summit Lhotse 8,516m, worlds’ fourth highest peak, summiting 22 May.This was Guy’s 6th successful 8000m peak and 9th time he’d been on an 8000m summit
  • 2013 – Guy managed locations and mountain safety and was an adviser to the doco/drama `Beyond the Edge’, a New Zealand made film about Hillary and Tenzing’s ascent of Everest
  • 2012 – Private horse-trekking group to Mustang in September
  • 2012 – Guy led the first AC expedition to Mt Manaslu 8,169m and worlds eight highest peak. Summited on the only summit day of the season
  • 2011 – Mt Kilimanjaro. Via Machame route with private clients
  • 2010 – Mt Kilimanjaro. Via Machame route
  • 2010 – In November Guy led a ‘luxury’ expedition to South Pole Last Degree, skiing last 110km to the south pole on skis with snow mobile support
  • 2007 – Mt Everest. Guy led a team of 20 people to the summit on 21 May making his 4th ascent of the mountain. AC have now achieved 129 ascents of Everest!
  • 2007 – Mt Kenya. Ascent of the technical Nelion peak. First climbed by Eric Shipton and Wyn Harris in 1929! Traversed Lenana peak on trek out
  • 2007 – Mt Kilimanjaro. Via Rongai route with private clients
  • 2006 – First ascents in Antarctic Peninsula, Guy ran trip to Ant Peninsula from Ushuaia in Sth America that completed several first ascents
  • 2006 – Mt Everest. Guy led the team to the summit on 19 May, his 3rd summit. Along with his summit team was Ana Elisa Bascarioli the first Brazilian woman to summit Everest and Ang Dorjee Sherpa on his 11th ascent of Everest. In total, over 2 summit days, AC had 28 expedition members on the summit
  • 2006 – Vinson Massif. Guy led a team to the summit in November. A member of the expedition, Dave Karnikar from Slovenia became the first person ever to ski the Seven Summits!
  • 2005 – Denali via the west buttress, again as guide and cameraman. By doing so Guy completed his 7 Summits quest (incl Kosciuszko)
  • 2005 – Carstensz Pyramid, Western Papua. Guiding first AC group to Carstensz in 10 years. Summit team included a 71 year old woman (Barb Gurtler) and Karla Wheelock as the first Latin American woman to complete 7 Summits
  • 2004 – Ascent of Kilimanjaro in Africa, one of the 7 Summits which Guy climbed whilst filming UK woman Annabelle Bond climbing as part of her 7 Summits in one year program which AC coordinated and filmed
  • 2004 – Guy led the successful AC Vinson Massif expedition
  • 2004 – As one of the recognised 7 Summits peaks, Guy climbed and filmed Annabelle Bond on her ascent of Kosciuszko in Australia
  • 2003 – April. Guy climbed the first ascent of a new route on the Balfour face of Tasman, one of New Zealand’s most difficult and remote alpine faces
  • 2003 – Later in April Guy worked as ‘mountain locations’ and Safety/Medic for Samari Pictures; ‘Last Samari’ film starring Tom Cruise
  • 2003 – Mt Elbrus, Russia. Guy led the first Adventure Consultants Elbrus expedition which summitted with all members
  • 2002 – Guy coordinated the Adventure Consultants Everest Expedition from base camp which resulted in 7 people reaching the summit
  • 2002 – Guy was contracted by Eco Challenge, this time in Fiji, where he held the role of Lead Rigger
  • 2001 – February. Guy led a successful expedition to Aconcagua (6950m) in Argentina via the Falso Polish route
  • 2001 – Mt Makalu (8463m) on which Guy summited with Lhakpa Dorjee Sherpa (first person to climb Makalu twice) and Takashi Ozaki who was summiting his seventh 8000m peak
  • 2001 – October. Guy was employed as Chief Guide for Eco Challenge New Zealand, a world-renowned adventure race
  • 2000 – Guy managed the Adventure Consultants Everest Expedition from Everest Base Cam
  • 1998 – April. Attempted Dhaulagiri in Nepal on an Adventure Consultants expedition with Veikka Gustafsson and Ed Viesturs
  • 1998 – July. Leader of reconnaissance expedition to 7545 m Muztagh Ata in Western China, proposed ski ascent and descent
  • 1998 – Dec. Led successful AC Vinson Massif Expedition to Antarctica
  • 1998 – First ascent of the remote Mt Slaughter 3600m in Antarctica’s Sentinel range
  • February 1999 – January 2000 – Guy was employed as First Unit Safety Coordinator on the production of a Hollywood movie being filmed in over 30 locations at Mt Cook and Queenstown – ‘The Vertical Limit’
  • 1997 – Guided ascent of Everest – Guy’s second ascent. Filmed remarkable video footage while ascending summit ridge
  • 1997 – Guided ascent of Gasherbrum II, Attempt Gasherbrum I in Pakistan, both 8000m peaks
  • 1997 – Guided Ascent of Cho Oyu in Tibet
  • First westerner to guid and climb three 8000 meter peaks in one year
  • 1997 – Guided Ascent of Vinson Massif in Antarctica
  • 1997 – Awarded CMC/Macpac New Zealand Mountaineer of the Year
  • 1996 – Led guided ascent of Ama Dablam, 6828m, Nepal
  • 1996 – June. Hall’s wife Jan Arnold sells Adventure Consultants to Guy
  • 1996 – Leader of Pumori Expedition, Nepal. Expedition abandoned when Rob Hall’s Everest expedition runs into trouble, Guy helps with rescue at Everest base camp
  • 1995 – Guide for AC on Everest, whole team turn around at South Summit
  • 1995 – Guide on Cho Oyu expedition to Tibet
  • 1994 -95 Snow Safety Officer at Harris Mountains Heli-skiing and Film Crew / Private Charter Co-ordinator in 1995. Directed Avalanche and Mountaineering courses in New Zealand.
  • 1994 – Guided Vinson Massif in Antarctica for Adventure Consultants
  • 1993 – Guide on successful AC Everest Expedition, descended from South Summit high point assisting exhausted team member
  • 1992 – Guided Mt Everest for Adventure Consultants with Rob Hall and Gary Ball on their first guided expedition. Summitted 10 May
  • 1991 -92 Chief Mountaineering Instructor for New Zealand Army, AATC, Waiouru, North Island, NZ
  • 1990 – Expedition to Moonflower Buttress on Mt Hunter, Alaska. Unsuccessful – atrocious weather. Attempted West Buttress of Denali.  Climbing in Tulomne Meadows in USA
  • 1989 – Formed new guiding company Mt Aspiring Guides with associates Paul Scaife and Nick Cradock. Based in Wanaka, NZ
  • 1989 – Expedition to Uli Biaho Spire in the Trango Towers Group in Pakistan. Summitted South Pillar – second ascent of route and third ascent of the mountain
  • 1984 – 94 Started Alpine and Ski Guiding in New Zealand. Worked for Alpine Guides Mt Cook and Harris Mountains Heli-skiing, and first courses towards UIAGM certification
  • 1982 – 84 Skiing in the USA on ski resorts, competitor in ski races including speed skiing
  • 1983 – Two-day ascent of the `Nose’ on El Capitan in Yosemite, USA (first wall climb). Later climbed the Salathé Wall
  • 1981 – 82 Work and rock climbing in Australia
  • 1981 – First Solo ascent of Mt Hicks via the left hand buttress
  • 1979 – First climb of Aoraki / Mt Cook at age 17. Numerous ascents since that time
  • 1977 – Traverse from Arthurs Pass to Mt Cook with three companions including a young Rob Hall Age 16, Guy aged 15
  • Climbing since age 11, First climb of Mt Rolleston at Arthurs Pass when 11 years old with father – Ed Cotter

Ressources to check out:
Webseite Adventure Consultants
Adventure Consultants in the News
Sherpa Future Fund
Guy Cotter at Facebook
Guy Cotter at Instagram
Adventuremovies at Facebook
Into Thin Air
Uphill Athlete