Carlos Buhler is one of America's most accomplished high altitude mountaineers, with 46 international climbing expeditions. His presentations weave a fabric of success and failure on some of his most interesting and challenging routes up the remarkable mountains in the world. His experiences illustrate the fine dividing line between unique success and total catastrophe; between world class accomplishment and heart wrenching tragedy. His experience leading international climbing teams has given him unique perspectives into the delicate challenges of multicultural communication, leadership development and team dynamics. Since 1984 he has presented to, and consulted for, a wide variety of organizations and businesses in which leadership roles are carefully tuned to create an environment that allows their units to excel.
Carlos’ climbing speciality has been characterized by high altitude, no supplemental oxygen, minimal equipment, small teams and relatively small amounts of funding, while accomplishing first ascents on the highest mountains by difficult routes in challenging conditions. In 1980, Carlos was invited to join the Spanish Aragon Himalayan Expedition where he and his Spanish partners made the first ascent of Baruntse's striking East Ridge and the first American ascent of the mountain (7,129 m / 23,390 ft.). In 1983 Carlos and his team became the first to climb what is considered to be the most difficult and dangerous route up Mount Everest, the Central Rib of the Kangshung Face – their route has never been repeated. During the 1985 Himalayan winter season, he and his single American partner pioneered the first ascent of the awe-inspiring Northeast Face of Ama Dablam (6812 m / 22,349 ft.). In April 1992, Carlos's climbing partner became sick in Base Camp just before their attempt of Nepal's majestic peak, Dorje Lhakpa (6966 m / 22,854 ft.). Carlos overcame this setback by climbing the West Ridge alone, making the first ever solo ascent of the mountain. In 1996, with a Russian team, Carlos ascended the infamous K2 (at 8611 m / 28,250 ft, earth’s second highest mountain) by the extremely daunting Chinese North Ridge. In 1998, Carlos led some of his Russian team to tackle the sheer, 5,200 foot, North Face of Changabang (6864 m / 22,514 ft.) in the Indian Himalaya. After living 14 days on the vertical wall, the five-man team reached the summit together. This ascent established one of the most difficult ‘big wall’ routes achieved in the Himalayan Mountains. He has also made numerous first ascents in the Andes and Alaska.
In 2002 Carlos was ranked ‘Best of the Best’ by Everestnews.com as one of the 4 best high altitude climbers in the world. In 2004 he was awarded a Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Grant awarded for cutting edge ‘bold first ascents or difficult repeats of most challenging routes’. In 2007 he was awarded the Robert and Miriam Underhill Award for outstanding mountaineering achievement by the American Alpine Club.
Carlos has developed a great respect for the mountain areas in which he climbs, and in 2001 was awarded the Polartec Challenge Award, for ‘vision, commitment, credibility and respect for the local culture and environment which serve as role models to outdoor enthusiasts worldwide’. He takes a personal interest in charities which help populations living with difficulty in areas in which he has climbed, particularly in Nepal. He sits on the Advisory Board of the ‘Gorkha Foundation’ Click Here. This charity is a grassroots organization whose purpose is to support initiatives that reduce poverty and inequality by making sustainable improvements to the living conditions of the poor and marginalized in the Gorkha region of Nepal. They do this by empowering communities throughout this impoverished area by focusing on development in Healthcare, Agriculture (livestock, pasture and fodder development), Primary and Secondary education and microcredit and income generating activities for those who will develop small family businesses.
With his vast experience of leading international climbing teams, Carlos has gained unique perspectives into the delicate challenges of multicultural communication, leadership development and team dynamics. Whilst still climbing for a hobby, Carlos is also a highly experienced management consultant, meeting facilitator and executive coach. Today, he applies his leadership experience in mountaineering to help corporations and organisations worldwide solve problems in leading teams for high performance, and promoting organizational transformation.