Background – Tony van Marken
Tony van Marken is a successful businessman and avid adventurer and has established a reputation as an outstanding motivational speaker. He has led or participated in over 30 high-altitude mountaineering expeditions on seven continents and has climbed numerous classic peaks around the world with over 60 successful high altitude summits. He reached the summit of Everest via the South Col route on June 2nd, 2005, to complete his quest to become the first South African to climb the original Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each of the world’s seven continents.
In 2002, at the age of 37, Tony van Marken climbed Kilimanjaro, which ignited a passion to climb some of the world’s great mountains. In less than three years, on his first attempt, he climbed each of the world’s seven continental summits, namely; Everest (8,850m) in Asia, Vinson Massif (4,897m) in Antarctica, Mount McKinley (6,194m) in North America, Kilimanjaro (5,895m) in Africa, Mount Elbrus (5,642m) in Europe, Kosciusko (2,228m) in Australia and Aconcagua (6,962m) in South America.
He has climbed sixteen 4,000m peaks in Europe including the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc (3x). He completed the first, South African ascent of Mount Shinn, the 3rd highest peak in Antarctica, and completed back-to-back ascents of Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring in New Zealand, a feat rarely achieved. He has also climbed the world’s sixth highest peak, Cho Oyu in Tibet at 8,201m.
Tony van Marken is a member of the American Alpine Club (AAC), Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA), Alpine Club of Canada, Himalayan Club and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).
Tony van Marken is also a marathon runner, road cyclist, mountain biker and certified open water diver (PADI). He has completed numerous standard and ultra marathons (2 x Two Oceans Ultra Marathon Finisher), as well as international road and mountain bike stage races including the Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race x2 (regarded as the Tour de France of mountain biking), the TransAndes Challenge (Patagonia, Chile) and the Legend of El Dorado (Colombia) x2, widely regarded as the “Everest of Mountain Biking”.
Tony van Marken has had a successful career as a venture capitalist, high-tech entrepreneur and management consultant, having worked in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada and France.
Recognized as a leader in his field, Tony van Marken was honoured in 1998 as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and was awarded the 1996 Canadian Venture Capital Association’s (CVCA) Entrepreneur of the Year Award.