Hi, I’m Jake Norton, and I tend to wear a lot of hats: climber, guide, photographer, filmmaker, UN Ambassador, writer, father, husband, and so on. I guess that all points in one disparately focused direction: undefined. I’ve never been one for strict definitions when it comes to life. For me, life has always been much like a mountain: there’s a distant end in sight, always looming far overhead and pushing us onward and upward. But, there are myriad valleys and ridges, winding trails, and unknown passes to get us there. And, sometimes the closer we get, the more we realize that distant summit was but a false one, and the real goal lies somewhere else, waiting to be discovered. Most of my life - personal and professional - has revolved around the vertical realm, the high mountains of the world, but I’ve always been drawn to seeking out the stories, the nuance, the hidden valleys and remote villages often missed along the way. Our society tends to push us into silos of thought and experience, forcing us ever upward toward the summit, the C-Suite, the end goal, almost at all costs. For me, the deepest joys and sparks of passion have always come not from going ever higher, but from seeing a new mystery, an unanswered (for me) question, a trail branching off and disappearing into the unknown—and then following it, seeking the answers and the knowledge and the filling of a new cup. While not for everyone, my horizontal traverse through the vertical realm has enabled me to develop a diversity of skillsets and a wide array of experiences. From eight Everest expeditions to unearthing 3,000 year old human remains on a cliff face, following the Ganges River source-to-sea to helping tell the stories of rural Kenyan farmers doing things differently, back-dooring essential supplies for Nepali earthquake victims to raising nearly $500,000 for global water and education causes, addressing the United Nations about mountains to addressing letters for Tibetan refugees, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to follow my passions along the horizontal axis of life and climb upward where appropriate into the vertical. I don’t claim to be an expert on any one thing, but have been lucky enough to have knowledge and experience in a multitude of disciplines and mountains and experiences. I hope you’ll find this in my writing, in my photography and film, in my speaking and expeditions. We live in a remarkably complex world, and I’m excited to share with you the few corners I’ve explored, the stories I’ve experienced and those shared with me, and the nuggets of thought and wisdom I’ve gathered along the way. Let’s take a hike together along the horizontal, and together we’ll find a vertical to go up.