Top of Mt. Meru at Socialist Point Feb 2008
Stephen Shobe is the Managing Director for the pioneer Expedition (PCE) His strategic goal is to climb the Seven Summits. The Seven Summits include the following mountains: Mt Aconcagua (Argentina), Mt. Elbrus (Russia), Mt. Everest (Napal), Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Mt. McKinley (Alaska), Mt.Vinson Massif (Antarctica)
His thirst for adventure started out at an early age when it was ok to be out after dark. He found himself searching the labyrinth of sub terrain caves with candles and flashlights in hand. The caves, well they turned out to be open storm drain construction sites. What is more, his open water adventures were just a few pieces of wood afloat in a rain filled mud pond.
The start, a child's search for adventure has compelled Stephen to explore life in ways outside the norm. At the age of 16 he was an advanced scuba diver certified by multiple agencies, fought fires for the US Forest service out of helicopters and eventually learned to fly them himself. The worlds most interesting man no, but a seeker yes.
Fast forward in time to 1989 when his thirst for the exploration of the vertical world began. His interest for climbing was quite by accident when he saw others in a nearby climbing area taking a class and wondered if he could do what they were trying to do. Shortly after, he signed up for a class and, as it turned out, he could. He not only could but he found it came very naturally to him.
Stephen's climbing ability and expertise has gained international attention. As a result, he was employed by the French Government as a technical climbing instructor for The Corsican Mountaineering Team.
Currently, Stephen's goal is to lead the first African American team to the summits of the world's tallest peaks on each continent. The team has successfully completed climbs on Mt.Aconcagua in Argentina, Mt. Elbrus in Russia and Mt.Kilimangaro in Africa. Additionally, after each climb, Shobe and team conduct outreach clinics at schools throughout the U.S and Canada. The clinics promote outdoor activities such as mountain biking, kayaking and repelling along with the value of world physical geography and the opportunity to scale a portable wall. Stephen says many young people are catching the fever. Every time we take a portable wall to a school we can't pull the kids away from it. "They are bees to honey," he laughs. Inspired by these budding climbers, the Pioneer Climbers partnered with Outward Bound Adventures, LA to develop a climbing program for young people in Southern California.
Climbing Career Highlights: Created routes emphasis on traditional climbing since 1989
-Big Bear Valley, Road Trip 5.12a
-Apple Valley, Butt Rock Two routes. One chimney route at 5.10
-Devil's Punchbowl 5.11+-Retro-bolt installation
-Shindigger, 100ft overhanging 12=route+
-Mount Whitney: East buttress, Fresh Air Traverse, shakey Leg Crack.Devil's Punch bowl; Rupert-the Bear, The Wedding Gift, Diminishing Returns, Best Seller. Miss-guided Tuolumine Me3adows; Mediicott area, Knuckleball, Whaite Line Fever. Dik me-a-Dog, Lambert area, Man Overboard
-Owens River Forge: Solarium wall, Sendero Lumijoso, Snake Eyes, Holy Trinity wall, Sex Packets
-Taquitz: The Green Arch, the Vampire, Whodounit
-Follow the Rainbow
Black Belvet Canyon
Yellow Brick Road
Red Rocks:Too many to mention
Mount Charleston: Hydra, Electra
-The French Alps,
-Les Rideaux De Gwendal
Elliott started rock climbing in 1992, after he saw the movie "K2". Shortly after seeing the film, Elliott enrolled in a rock climbing class. After the completion of my first rock climbing class, I was out every other weekend rock climbing. Elliott was hooked! He would spend most of his free time climbing throughout Southern California. He started winter mountaineering in the spring of 1995, after he saw a National Geographic show on Mt. Everest. Elliott was inspired by the climber's accomplishments. After reading the book "Seven Summits", he began climbing all of the highest mountains in southern California. Elliott's climbing adventure has led him to rock and ice climbing throughout the United States, Canada, South America, and Europe. In his free time, Elliott enjoys climbing, mountain bike riding, trail running, Brazilian Jiujutsu, eating great food, and spending time with his wife Andrea and their son Miles.
Phil Henderson is one of a few African Americans who are employed in the outdoor recreational industry and works as a Utah River Based Manager at the National Outdoor Leadership School where he trains groups for whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing and climbing.
Phil has worked all his adult life in the recreation industry and has made a career of working in the outdoors. His Career stops have even included assignments in Kenya and Tanzania.
I was born and raised in San Diego Ca. Since I was a Child, I have always been involved in the outdoors. Fishing was my first hobby. I started skiing at age 20. That became a personal passion and became my biggest commitment to any sport. Due to a football injury in college in 1984, I was gravitating towards hiking climbing and other non-traditional sports.
Since 1984, I have been involved in various outdoor activities at the professional level: White water guide, Climbing guide, backcountry skiing, mountaineering etc.. I have volunteered a fair amount of my time to youth outdoor programs from all over the county and see that as the most important role I play as an outdoor professional.
My most memorable times were during my year and a half spent in East Africa. For the first time in my life, I was not in a area where I was not considered or treated like a " Minority". This experience has given me the greatest insight for the need to disperse personal time, resources, and education world-wide to hungry minds. I feel a great kinship with Pioneer Expedition endeavors in reaching out to youth programs because I have experience a lifetime of arbitrarily feeling different because of someone else's perception.
Since working in the outdoors industry in so many areas I have learned a lot about my self, and met some wonderful people. I have had the blessing to experience places that very few people in the world ever visualize. I feel very fortunate to have these experiences in my life, It is a privilege to share them.
2002 - Present
National Outdoor Leadership School - Manager of Utah Whitewater program
1995 - 2002
NOLS Field Instructor
120+ field weeks leading multi-day hiking, whitewater, rock climbing, and backcountry skiing courses.
Notable Climbing experience
-Yosemite - Washington Column '93
-Sangre De Cristo Range, CO - Kit Carson, Crestone Needle '94
-Pangora - Wind River Range WY '99
Kenya East Africa
Several 25 day expeditions on Mount Kenya (6) '00,'01
Mount Kilimanjaro - Guide training for East African guides and porters 18 days (1) '01
Point Lenana - 4985m 4th class (9 ascents) '00,'01
Nelion - 5188m Normal route (1 ascent) '01
Pillar in the Hat - 4400m 5.7 '00
Sendeyo - 5200m 5.7 '00,'01
Mount McKinley - West Buttress (guide) '05
Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation Khumbu Climbing School
2006,2007,2009 - Khumbu Region Instructor/guide
Rock and Ice route set up and skill instruction
Numerous additional rock and ice routes around the western US since 1992.
Wilderness First Responder
American Heart Association CPR
Leave No Trace (LNT) Master
Level I Avalanche Tech
I grew up north of Atlanta where my mom and grandparents helped foster my love for the outdoors. We were constantly exploring, camping, hiking and fishing in the hills and mountains of North Georgia. I went to college at Eastern Kentucky University and while at EKU, I made my first trip to Colorado and fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and knew Colorado is where I should be. I moved to Colorado after graduating from college and have lived here ever since. During my college years and beyond, I also had the honor of serving nine years in the Marine Corps Reserve.
I joined the Pioneer Climbing Expedition because letting youth know that the possibilities are endless and to follow your passion, whatever that may be, is very important to me. I know how critical it is to expose our youth to activities that they may have never thought possible and how life-changing certain experiences can be when they accomplish something that they never even knew was a possibility.
This will be my first expedition to climb one of the seven summits. I have climbed several of the Fourteeners, including Mount Massive. I work in marketing and public relations and get outdoors with my family every chance I get whether that is a simple hike or quick fishing trip. I am trying to foster that same love in my children that has helped shape me and just make living and loving the outdoors a part of their normal everyday life.
Pioneer Climbing Expedition is climbing it way to a important and historic expedition to be the first African American Team to complete all Seven Summits. With four Summits complete we are just three mountains away. This Website and a film of our expedition is in progress and will capture the long battle it took to complete this mission. Our next climb will take place in Antarctica, where we will summit Mt. Vinson Massif.
Pioneer Climbing Expedition Inc. is an organization developed by African Americans with two primary goals. The first and foremost is to support and facilitate the first successful seven summit attempt by team PCE. Secondly and equally as important, it is our dream to awaken minorities to the many types of nontraditional outdoor sports. What is more, as a team we strongly believe motivation comes in many a form. And we say, "Lead by example".
Aconcagua is the highest mountain in the Americas, and the highest mountain outside Asia. It is located in the Andes mountain range, in the Argentine province of Mendoza. The summit is located about 5 kilometres from San Juan Province and 15 kilometres from the international border with Chile. It lies 112 km (70 mi) west by north of the city of Mendoza. Aconcagua is the highest peak in both the Western and Southern Hemispheres. It is one of the Seven Summits.
Aconcagua saw its first African American team in 2002. The team members at the time were: Stephen K. Shobe, Elliott Boston III and Dr. Eugene Ellis. The team summit day started at 0241 the morning of Feb 20,2002 and ended @ 1700 the same day. The expedition consumed a total of 20 days including travel time and rest days on the mountain. .
Sponsors: Pepsi, North American Volvo, The North Face, Sunnto, CWA 9510, SBC, Bench Made knifes, Asolo summit boots. Adventure Medical Kits, HP, Boreal rock climbing shoes, Petzl and Oakley
Mount Elbrus is an inactive volcano located in the western Caucasus mountain range, in Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachay- Cherkessia, Russia, near the border of Georgia. Mt. Elbrus's highest peak is the highest mountain in the Caucasus, in Russia, and in all of Europe. Mt. Elbrus (west summit) stands at 5,642 metres (18,510 ft); the east summit is slightly lower at 5,621 metres (18,442 ft).
Mt. Elbrus is located in the western Caucasus mountains in Russia. PCE (Pioneer Climbing Expedition was the first African American team to successfully summit this mountain. Team members included Stephen K. Shobe, Elliott Boston III and Dr. Ellis
Summit date August 8th of 2003 after 5 days on the mountain and 4days travel time.
Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is an inactive stratovolcano in north-eastern Tanzania rising 4,600 m (15,092 ft) from its base (and approximately 5,100 m/16,732 ft from the plains near Moshi), and is additionally the highest peak in Africa at 5,892 metres (19,331 ft), providing a dramatic view of the surrounding plains.
In 2008 Pioneer Climbing Expedition reached the top of Kilimanjaro. With only three mountains away from reaching the goal and historic climbing moment to be the first African American team to summit the seven highest points on each continent.
Mount Kosciuszko is a mountain located in the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park. With a height of 2,228 metres (7,310 ft) above sea level, it is the highest mountain in Australia (not including its external territories). It was named by the Polish explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki in 1840, in honour of the Polish national hero General Tadeusz Kosciuszko, because of its perceived resemblance to the Kosciuszko Mound in Krakow.
Pioneer Climbing Expedition stopped off in Australia to cross Mt. Kosciusko off the list. With only seven summits away from history. Stephen Completed this mountain in March of 2008
Vinson Massif is the highest mountain of Antarctica, located about 1,200 km (750 mi) from the South Pole. The mountain is about 21 km (13 mi) long and 13 km (8 mi) wide. At 4,892 metres (16,050 ft) the highest point is Mount Vinson, which was named in 2006 by US-ACAN. The southern end of the massif ends at Hammer Col, which joins it to the Craddock Massif, of which the highest point is Mount Rutford (4477 m).
PCE is currently planing the Mt. Vinson Massif Summit for 2010. We are in the process of gathering sponsors and planing out the documentary of this Expedition. This climb will put the PCE crew just two summits away from being the first African America team to climb all Seven summits.
Check out our blog to keep up to date with this expedition.
The highest mountain in the world attracts climbers of all levels, from well experienced mountaineers to novice climbers willing to pay substantial sums to professional mountain guides to complete a successful climb. The mountain, while not posing substantial technical climbing difficulty on the standard route (other eight-thousanders such as K2 or Nanga Parbat are much more difficult), still has many inherent dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind. By the end of the 2008 climbing season, there had been 4,102 ascents to the summit by about 2,700 individuals.
In 2011 The PCE team will attempt to make history by being the very first African American Team to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
Just 50 Years ago, Mt. Everest was climbed for the first time. From that prime achievement Approximately 100 people have successful reached the top. There has never been an African American team to even make a attempt. The PCE envisions this as an opportunity to make history in the 21st century.
Mount McKinley or Denali ("The Great One") in Alaska is the highest mountain peak in North America, at a height of approximately 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level. It is the centerpiece of Denali National Park. The mountain is regularly climbed today, with just over 50% of the expeditions successful, although it is still a dangerous undertaking. By 2003, the mountain had claimed the lives of nearly 100 mountaineers.
This will be the last Climb for the PCE's Historic Seven Summits Expedition. It is planned for somewhere around 2012.
Keep your eye on the blog for more info.
PCE Kilimanjaro Summit
Stephen Shobe - Devils Tower
PCE Elbrus Russia
Stephen Shobe - Elbrus Russia
Stephen Shobe - Ice Climbing, CO
Stephen Shobe - Volvo Shoot
Elliot Boston III - Elbrus Summit
Stephen Shobe - Sonim Ad
Working together, we make amazing things happen.
Whether climbing to the top of a mountain or reaching out to the youth, Pioneer Climbing Expedition needs the help from sponsors like these. We have proudly worked alongside some of the worlds top companies and organizations to help amazing things happen. We are currently gathering sponsorships for our Historic Seven Summits climb. We are also always looking for Partnerships to help with our on going Outreach activities. We are always grateful to those who would like to help PCE.
Strong relationships and the right solutions to help PCE reach a historic goal, while helping our community.
The North Face
Since 1968 The North Face has been providing unparalleled outerwear and gear for the worlds top climbers.Learn More >
Sterling Rope's vision is to build a brand that is the trusted name in life-safety products.Learn More >
Sonim Technologies is a rugged phone manufacturer and VoIP applications and services developer.Learn More >
Oakley, Inc. is an eyewear company making sun- glasses, sports visors and ski goggles.Learn More >
Technical gear for sport climbing and ice climbing, but also aid climbing, mountaineering, caving, multi-picth climbing.Learn More >
Asolo's goal is to create great footwear for all of your outdoor needs, in all conditions, at all altitudes.Learn More >
Communications workers of America 9510 is the Commu- nications and Media Union.Learn More >
For over 6o years LEKI has been the world's leading manufacturer of Skiing, Trekking and Nordic Walking poles.Learn More >
Suunto is a leading designer and manufa- cturer of sports precision instruments for diving and mountaineering.Learn More >
Adventure Medical Kits is dedicated to bringing you the most innovative products which will keep you safe in the outdoors.Learn More >
"Climbing Desolation" will follow the Pioneer Climbing team as they attempt to be the first African American men to stand atop the seven highest summits of the world. The documentary will focus on their 2010 attempt on Mt. Vinson Massif in Antarctica. The incredibly vast isolated environment of the world's coldest continent will be the gripping backdrop of this historically significant ascent. "Climbing Desolation" takes audiences on a journey to the highest point at the southernmost part of the world, exploring the limits of human endurance on the starkly fascinating continent of Antarctica.
The Pioneer Climbing team is attempting to break down racial and cultural boundaries as they forge towards the summit of Vinson. "Climbing Desolation" will be the compelling story of men, a remote world and an inner desire to achieve beyond the expected. By exploring each climber's background and motivation during the expedition, we will begin to understand the magnitude of their achievements. Their story will be complimented by breathtaking vistas and an awe-inspiring climb, creating a multilayered introspective look at what it takes to ascend some of the world's highest mountains and break through some of its last cultural boundaries:
Director - Erik Osterholm