"In the mountains, Conrad is steady and calm when you need steady and calm," says Jimmy Chin, "and a force of nature when you need someone to carry the weight and forge new ground." Here’s just a sampling of a climbing résumé that may never be topped.
Continental Drift: In 1997, the now 54-year-old made a stunning first ascent of Yosemite's El Capitan, a route called Continental Drift that required him to live in a hammock for 18 days and ascend sheer sections by using metal hooks placed on dime-thin rock edges.
Finding Mallory: In 1999, Anker discovered legendary climber George Mallory's well-preserved body at 27,000 feet on Mount Everest, 75 years after his death.
Climbing Mount Impossible: Anker was obsessed with the Shark's Fin on Mount Meru for nearly 20 years. After a failed bid in 2009, he returned in 2011 with teammates Chin and Renan Ozturk to make the first ascent, arguably the hardest high-altitude big-wall climb ever.