CHARLIE WITTMACK, Expedition Leader
Charlie Wittmack is an American explorer who has been organizing major expeditions for more than 15 years. As an adventurer, Charlie is best known for having survived a remarkable ascent of Mount Everest, reaching the summit during some of the worst weather in the recorded history of the mountain and only after making two back-to-back summit attempts and spending three days without food or water.
In addition to standing atop peaks during dozens of expeditions to the Andes, Alps, Africa, Alaska and the Himalaya, Charlie has trekked across East Africa with the Maasai, sailed the Indian Ocean in a handmade boat, and participated in a 5100-mile bicycle ride across the United States. Charlie is also an accomplished marathon swimmer and has completed numerous ocean marathon swims including a first-place finish in the notorious 12.5 mile Swim Around Key West and a 2008 attempt on the English Channel.
Stories of Charlie’s adventures have been covered in media outlets around the world, including CNN, the International Herald Tribune, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, Sports Illustrated, Outside Online, NPR and more than sixty others.
When he is not on expeditions, Charlie is a practicing attorney with the Davis Brown Law Firm and an adjunct professor in the Department of Global Health at Des Moines University. Charlie is also a nationally sought after speaker who is represented by speakers’ bureaus in New York City, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Charlotte, Springfield, Newark, and Des Moines.
Charlie has received numerous awards for his expeditions and the related humanitarian and educational programs he has developed. A few of these honors include being admitted as a Fellow in the Explorers Club, receiving an Executive Proclamation from Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsac, recognition as one of the “Iowans of the Decade” by the Des Moines Register, and admission into the “Forty Under 40.”
Charlie is thirty-three years old and is married to Cate Wittmack from Charlotte, N.C.. They live in Iowa with their son, James.
CATE WITTMACK, Educational Coordinator
Cate Wittmack is a writer and philanthropist focusing on maternal health and early childhood education. She has a BA in English from Villanova University and an MA in Organizational Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa. Cate was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina after having spent her childhood in Texas and Alaska. The daughter of a physician and nurse, she has three younger sisters. The Wittmacks are travelling with their two-and-a-half year-old son, James.