Angela Hawse
IFMGA / AMGA Mountain Guide


Giving Back is an ethic of Service. Service is a big part of who I am. Ive contributed to many causes I believe in and volunteered countless hours of my life to help individuals, organizations and environments in need. Although Ive expected nothing in return, my life has been enriched beyond measure through these experiences.

I have found an infinite well of inspiration from my time in the mountains and I believe this has led me in positive directions. Since my earliest endeavors I discovered I had an insatiable curiosity that extended well beyond the physical expression and art of climbing and skiing. I am a student and lover of geography, natural history, geology and cultural diversity. I seek out what I dont know and reach out to help how I can.

Much of my Service work has been carried out in the Nepal Himalaya, where Ive worked to protect the Mountain Porter, trained women to work as guides and led expeditions with Service components. Combined, I put it all together in 2001 and completed a Master of Arts degree in International Mountain Conservation.

In the U.S., Ive primarily focused my efforts on the Mountain Guiding Profession. Not only have I furthered my own education through coursework and exams with the American Mountain Guides Association, Ive served on the organizations Board of Directors since my election in 2003. As a Director I have chaired and served on various committees, all to further the cause of the American Mountain Guide.

Visiting and exploring remote mountain ranges is a passion shared by many these days. The places we go are impacted not only from the waste we leave behind, but more so by less obvious demands on their environs and culture by the resources we require just being there. Western visitors are accustomed to living a little more comfortably or expecting a little higher standard of living than many inhabitants of the remote villages we pass through on our way to the mountains. These impacts have often been the focus of my work.

Some of the highlights of my work have been the following endeavors:

1998 Everest Challenge Expedition Environmental Service Project

As Deputy Leader of this expedition, I played a major leadership role in many of the components that made up this unique endeavor. We were a small group of friends who were committed to help amputee Tom Whittaker realize his dream of climbing the highest mountain in the world. In addition to climbing Everest we had lofty ambitions to do more, which we did.

We organized a Disabled Trek to Everest Base Camp in which 6 of Toms closest friends with disabilities trekked, rode horses and yaks and were carried on the backs of Sherpa to reach base camp to support Tom in his effort on Everest.

750 Schools across the U.S. and Canada subscribed to and followed the progress of our expedition through Nepal and on the mountain. 5th through 12th graders used a resource/curriculum guide designed for the expedition as the focus of an online, interactive curriculum.

I organized and carried out a Service Project on the mountain, following the model of the 1994 Sagarmatha Environmental Expedition, where I paid Sherpa to carry garbage and discarded oxygen bottles from camps as high as 26,000 feet on Everest. We removed over 1000 lbs of trash and 89 oxygen bottles from the mountain.

The heart of the Service Project, which I designed and organized, was a Service Learning Project for 6 undergraduates from Prescott College who carried out research and various projects throughout the Khumbu Valley while we were on the mountain. Their projects ranged from forestry, to working with the local school, to surveys of trekking lodges and fuel/resource use, to helping local non-profits with pollution projects and trekker education projects. They all lived with Sherpa families and were completely immersed in the culture. Their overall assignment was to learn as much as they could, through constant awareness of the cost of their presence in the region. That meant learning what it cost environmentally to take a shower, to cook a meal and to drink a bottle of soda that had to be flown in and carried on the back of a porter. This approach impelled them to focus on the ramifications of tourism and mountaineering in the Khumbu. More importantly it sensitized them to their impact anywhere on the planet.

Tom Whittaker success of reaching the summit of Everest as the first disabled ascent was televised on an hour long documentary with Bryant Gumble as Footprint on Everest, spreading national attention that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

2001 Aconcagua Environmental Clean-Up Project

I organized and led this expedition for Tom Whittaker to set his foot on top of the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres. Having already summited Aconcagua myself, I set my sights on a clean-up of the high camps on the mountain. With 4 other highly motivated individuals, we removed over 2000 lbs of trash from the high camps of Nido de Condores, Berlin, Piedras Blancas and Independencia. We collected and drug it down ourselves and the park service flew it out under a helicopter in 2 separate loads from Plaza de Mulas.

2003 Mamas Dablam Expedition to Ama Dablam

I organized, led and guided, with two other women guides, an all-womens ascent of Ama Dablam, 22,494ft., in the Khumbu Region of Nepal. Over the period of a year and a half while training for the climb, we raised $23,000 for the dZi Foundation to start a safe house for young girls in Sikkim. This was a major goal of the team, giving back. The dZi Foundation was an obvious choice, as the seven other women and three guides were mostly Chicks with Picks alumni. In addition to raising money for the dZis project in Sikkim, climbed the mountain in good style, without the support of high altitude Sherpa, setting all our own camps and carrying our own loads up the mountain.

Other Projects I have been involved with:

Outdoor Leadership Training for Women in Nepal with EcoHimal
US Coordinator for the International Porter Protection Project
Project Leader for the Windhorse Legacy Foundation
Prescott College Alumni Board Member
Mountain Lynx Technical Board and Educational Committee
Red Mountain Pass Association
Ridgway Climbing Wall Project