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Mark Pfetzer

Main character of the story whose dream is to climb Everest.

Mr. Pfetzer

Mark's dad, who is diagnosed with cancer and after fighting the battle, dies.

Mrs. Pfetzer

Mark's mother, who supports him and climbs Ama Dablam with him.

Geoff Tabin

Adventurer, doctor, author. Sparks Mark's interest in RI Rock Gym.

Frank Madeira

Symphony conductor, hiker. Introduces Mark to first hiking experience.

Al Burgess

Veteran leader of many Nepal treks and climbs. Mentor/leader of Nepal trek.


Mark's Sherpa friend who wants to summit Everest with him and comes with Mark to America when his father is diagnosed.

Thor Keiser

Runs Condor Adventures. Accepts and encourages Mark to prepare for Everest through South American trips.


Guide with Condor Adventures.

John "Butthead"

Antagonistic member of Javier's small group.

Nel Poisson

Trainer who works Mark to new levels of fitness for Everest.

Mr. Krupowicz

Assistant superintendent of Middletown Public Schools, instrumental in providing Mark with opportunities to pursue "alternative education".

Roger Gocking

Veteran climber, college professor, long-distance runner, skier/Trinidad.

Chris Fowler

ESPN sportscaster/New York.

Henry Todd


Scott Fischer

Expedition leader of Mountain Madness/Washington, died in Everest '96.

Rob Hall

Expedition leader of Adventure Consultants/New Zealand, died in Everest '96.

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