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Edward (Ed) Webster

About Edward (Ed) Webster

History Presenter & Guide


Born in Boston and raised in Lexington, Massachusetts, Ed obtained a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Colorado College in 1978. He now lives in Harpswell, Maine, with his wife and 15-year-old daughter. This may explain his questing for Polar Regions, since North Pole explorer Robert E. Peary resided on Eagle Island in Harpswell.

Ed’s father hailed from London, which accounts for his fascination with Caption Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Four climbing trips to Arctic Norway’s enchantingly beautiful Lofoten Islands imbued him with an appreciation of “the Viking spirit” and the polar exploits of Norweigan national heroes Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen.

A veteran of 7 Himalayan expeditions, Ed is one of North America’s best-known rock climbers and mountaineers. His resumé includes several world-famous climbs, notably, his first ascent of a new route up Mount Everest’s remote, highly dangerous Kangshung Face in Tibet, as part of an international 4-man team in 1988. The expedition climbed Everest with no oxygen bottles, radios or Sherpa assistance in an ascent that climbing legend Reinhold Messner hailed as “the best-styled climb of Mount Everest.”

Ed’s writing and photographs have appeared worldwide in over 50 magazine articles, in such publications as Alpinist, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Popular Mechanics, Rolling Stone and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. He has written 5 books, including his definitive guidebook, Rock Climbs in the White Mountains of New Hampshire (5 editions), as well as Climbing in the Magic Islands to the Lofoten Islands of Arctic Norway and Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest, his bestselling autobiography.

Fun fact: Ed is one of only 3 mountaineers cited in the board game Trivial Pursuit. The other 2 are Mount Everest’s first ascensionists, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Confirming his polar historian stripes, Ed was the sole American founding member of Great Britain’s Shackleton Nuts Club (yes, there is such a club – in England, of course!).