In many ways, Doug Tumminello has been preparing for this expedition for most of his life. He first read of British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic adventures as a 4th grader. Immediately captivated, Doug knew then that his life path would involve exploration and adventure.
Doug has led mountaineering expeditions to and summited many mountains around the world, including Alaska’s Denali, the tallest mountain in North America, and Argentina’s Cerro Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in South America. During one expedition to Denali, his team was awarded a commendation by the National Park Service for the assistance they gave to a climber during a severe storm high on the mountain.
As team leader, Doug led a private expedition that scaled Mt. Everest via the Southeast Ridge,the route made famous by the 1996 disaster reported in John Krakauer’s book Into Thin Air. After facing great difficulties, including the death of two of his Sherpa teammates in an avalanche, he stood atop Mt. Everest’s summit early in the morning of May 23, 2006.
In 2009, despite having no seafaring background, Doug was on an 8-person crew that rowed Audeaus (“Let Us Dare”), a 36’ ocean rowing boat, across the Indian Ocean from Western Australia to Mauritius, an island off the coast of Africa. The crew was at sea for 58 days and set the world record for the fastest row of the Indian Ocean, a total of 3,700 miles. The row set a number of firsts, including the first Americans to row the Indian Ocean.
When people ask Doug why he is driven to exploration he answers, “the best I can come up with is that I’m not articulate enough to be a poet, observant enough to be an artist, or insightful enough to be a philosopher. I guess my talent is adventure. It’s incredibly liberating to cast off from civilization and instead to experience the natural world in all of its beauty, majesty and, often, fury.”
Doug and his wife Lisa Renee have been married for over 20 years and have two amazing children. Alexandra is 18 years old and an accomplished student, talented Cross Country and Track athlete, alpine skier and rock climber. She has a passion for world travel, especially to Africa, and will spend 2016 on three continents as part of a World Race student team. Bowden is 12 years old with a great spirit of adventure. He loves rock climbing, rodeo, skiing, lacrosse, hunting with Doug and pursuing any other opportunity for excitement that arises.
As a family, Doug, Lisa Renee, Alexandra and Bowden see every adventure and expedition as a gift and privilege from God.
All good adventures have the hallmark of an ancient epic poem—think the Iliad or the Odyssey. The thing that those epics have in common is that the hero, or the protagonist, leaves society and crosses a threshold from which there is no return and then undergoes a series of defining events throughout the journey…”