Galen Rowell's travels around the world reflect his childhood exposure to wilderness and adventure at home. Annual summer pack trips into the High Sierra from the age of ten led to roped climbs in Yosemite at sixteen and a hundred first ascents of new routes in the mountains of California by the time he was thirty.

Shortly after selling his automotive business in 1972, he became a full-time photographer and writer, landing his first major magazine assignment-a cover story for National Geographic on the first clean ascent of the Northwest face of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Further assignments and private expeditions have taken him to both poles and on more than forty other international journeys into the mountains of Africa, Antarctica, Canada, China, Europe, India, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Patagonia, South America, and Tibet. On frequent Himalayan expeditions, he made the first ascents of Cholatse, Great Trango Tower, and Lukpilla Brakk as well as attempting new routes on K2 and Mount Everest. He made the first one-day climbs of Denali and Kilimanjaro as well as a unique 285-mile winter traverse of the Karakoram Himalaya. Closer to home, he won his age group running a trail ultra-marathon at 54. Now, at age 60, Galen is still climbing high and fast, making frequent solo ascents of moderate free routes the High Sierra, as well as one-day ascents of big wall routes on El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite.

In 1984 Galen received the Ansel Adams Award for his contributions to the art of wilderness photography and began teaching photo workshops around the country. His 13th book, Bay Area Wild, was published by Sierra Club Books in 1997, and celebrates the wild areas within forty miles of San Francisco that have been preserved due to a combination of geography and foresight. Galen traveled to the far corners of the world before fully appreciating the beauty of the wildness outside his own door. Galen's 14th book, Living Planet, produced in collaboration with top nature photographers Frans Lanting and David Doubilet, was released in 2000. It highlights the World Wildlife Fund's "Global 200," eco-regions that are considered vital to the maintenance of global biodiversity. Two new books, North America the Beautiful, and Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photography are scheduled to be released in 2001. Major exhibitions include galleries such as New York's Nikon House and International Center of Photography, Chicago's Field Museum, San Francisco's California Academy of Sciences, Yosemite's Ansel Adams Gallery, The Nature Company's Wrubel Gallery, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

When not shooting for National Geographic, Coastal Living, Audubon, Outdoor Photographer or other publications, Galen is likely to be found either writing at his new Bishop, CA home, climbing in the High Sierra, or at Mountain Light Photography, the company managed by his wife, Barbara, to market Galen's photographs for publication and exhibition. Mountain Light organizes Galen's workshops, coordinates slide presentations and speaking engagements, and is open to the public.

Back to Top


Site Design by CyberWorks