Steve Swenson has been climbing for almost 50 years. With nearly 20 expeditions to mountains in South Asia alone, he has made ascents of the North Ridge of K2, and solo ascents of the North Ridge of Everest—both without supplementary oxygen. In 2012 he and his partners made the first ascent of Sasser Kangri II (7518 meters), the second highest unclimbed mountain in the world, a feat for which they were awarded the prestigious Piolet d’Or.

Before recently retiring, Steve worked for 35 years as a consultant to municipalities and counties on engineering, design, project management, utility finance, and policy making projects related to water and sanitation. He has written articles for Climbing, Rock & Ice, and Alpinist magazines, as well as for the American Alpine Journal. He contributed to the recent publication Rock, Paper, Fire, an anthology of mountain and wilderness writing published by the Banff Centre. He is also a past president of the American Alpine Club.

Steve and his wife, Ann Dalton, divide their time between Seattle and Canmore, Alberta; they have two grown sons, Lars and Jed.