Adventurer of the Year Rob Gauntlett Dies in the French Alps


2008 Adventurers of the Year James Hooper (left) and Rob Gauntlett

Photograph by Martin Hartley

Sad news posted by National Geographic Adventure Blog today:

“It is with heavy hearts that we pass along the worst kind of news: The BBC reported Saturday that Rob Gauntlett, who shared the 2008 Adventurers of the Year award with James Hooper, was in a fatal accident while climbing the dangerous east face of the 13,937-foot Tacul peak in the Mont Blanc mountain range in the French Alps.

“Rob and James won the Adventurer of the Year award for completing a 26,000-mile journey from geomagnetic pole to geomagnetic pole (read the feature article or watch a video about their remarkable feat). Rob was the youngest Briton to summit Everest at the age of 19.

“‘We were extremely saddened to learn of Rob’s death,’ said National Geographic Adventure Editor in Chief John Rasmus. ‘Many of us at Adventure got to know him over the course of a few days for our Adventurer of the Year event [at the National Geographic headquarters] in November, and he was a great guy — full of life and confidence and good humor. He would have had an amazing life ahead, I’m sure, but the one consolation I can extract is that he was really enjoying the present, and how he was living his life, and he appreciated every aspect of it. I’m sure he’ll be missed by many — especially his parents and great friend James — for a long time.'”

Read my blog entry Adventurers of the Year Named by National Geographic Adventure Magazine (November 21, 2008)

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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn