Carlos Buhler is one of the most accomplished mountain climbers in the world. His climbing career spans thirty five years with major ascents on five continents. He draws from experience gained on forty-four expeditions to Canada, Alaska, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Uganda, Kenya, India, Pakistan, Nepal, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tadjikistan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Tibet. In 1983, he climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest with the American team that made the first ascent of the Kangshung (East) Face from Tibet. It was Everest's last unclimbed face and its ascent established the mountain's most technically demanding route. Their climb has never been repeated.
Carlos's climbing objective is to expand his ability to scale the world most difficult mountains using small, efficient teams and lightweight tactics. In 1978, the American Alpine Club selected Carlos, at the age of 23, to be a member of the joint Soviet-American team hosted by the former Soviet Union's Mountaineering Federation to climb in the Pamir Range of Central Asia. In 1980, he 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 (23,390 ft.) and the first American ascent of the mountain. In 1984, he led a six-member Canadian-American assault up the legendary West Pillar of Makalu (27,766 ft.), the world's fifth highest peak. Though only the third team to complete the difficult Pillar, they were forced to retreat 100 yards from the summit in bad weather. 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 (22,349 ft.). This mountain is the sacred and spectacular peak in the Khumbu region of Nepal. In 1988, he organized and led the first successful American Expedition to Kangchenjunga (28,168 ft.), the world's third highest peak. While orchestrating this ultra-light team up its fierce North Wall, he became the first American to stand atop this colossal challenge. He reached the pinnacle together with an Austrian and a Basque teammate. In April 1989, he succeeded in climbing the world's sixth highest peak, Cho Oyu (26,940 ft.), in a two man, alpine style ascent of its magnificent West Ridge. During the autumn of 1990, Carlos led a four member International Expedition to Dhaulagiri I (26,794 ft.). In reaching this renowned summit with a Lithuanian and a Nepali partner, he became the first North American to have climbed four of the world's fourteen peaks over 8000 meters (26,250 ft.). In April 1992, Carlos's British partner became sick in Base Camp just before their attempt of Nepal's majestic peak, Dorje Lhakpa (22,854 ft.). Despite this setback, he accomplished their goal by making the first solo ascent of this spectacular Himalayan mountain by its demanding West Ridge. In the year 1994, Carlos encountered one of his most difficult mountaineering decisions. Short of daylight, he and his Polish companion turned back just twenty minutes from the highest point of K2 (28,250 ft.), the planet's second highest peak. Two years later, Carlos returned to K2 to attempt the extremely daunting Chinese North Ridge. In August 1996, he reached the summit of this notorious objective with two Russian companions. He is one of only two North Americans to have succeeded on this ridge. In July 1997, Carlos led the Russian-American Nanga Parbat Expedition to success. He and his Russian partner became the first American and first Russian to climb this infamous 26,660 foot mountain (the world's ninth highest), in Pakistan. In 1998, Carlos led his same Russian friends to tackle the sheer, 5,200 foot North Face of Changabang (22,514 ft.) in the Indian Himalaya. After living 16 days on the vertical wall, the five-man team reached the summit together. Their ascent established one of the most difficult "big wall" routes yet achieved in the Himalayan Mountains. In the spring of 1999, Carlos and his American teammate climbed a new route on the West Face of the Peruvian peak, Siula Grande (20,813 ft.) - the mountain described in Simpson's book, Touching the Void. Later that year, they made the first ascent of the stunning Milarepa Peak (20,544 ft.), in the Rowaling Himalya of Tibet, by its East Face. In August of 2000, Carlos explored the little known Ishkoman Valley in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Northwest Pakistan. Here, he and his Russian partner made the first ascent of the valley's most striking summit, Dhiang (Kampur) Peak (18,041 ft.), by its Northwest Face. During the winter of 2002, Carlos joined Russian and Spanish friends to explore winter routes in the Caucasus. Together they made a bone chilling winter ascent of Mt. Elbrus (18,510 ft.). Later that year, Carlos climbed with the American team attempting the notorious 22,821 foot peak, Sepu Kangri. On October 2nd, he and his partner made the first ascent of this coveted summit in the Nyanchen Tangla Mountains of Eastern Tibet. In 2003 Carlos and his American partners made the first ascents of two extreme alpine faces: in Alaska, on Gunnar Naslund East Face (12,600 ft.) and in Peru, on Pucahirca North West Face (19,835 ft.). Over 7 days in May, 2005, Carlos and two Russian companions climbed the extremely committing North Face of Menlungtse in Tibet for the first time. Weighing the alternatives, the team sacrificed the 23,559 foot summit when they elected to descend the dangerous 5000 foot wall due to the illness of one teammate.
Carlos earned a B.S. degree in Environmental Education and Human Ecology in 1978 at Western Washington University. Since 1984, he has given motivational lectures to corporations and organizations. His overall theme focuses on reaching difficult goals through individual effort and teamwork. His articles and photographs have appeared in numerous books, journals, and magazines, including the July 1984 issue of National Geographic which covered the story of the Everest East Face Expedition. In 2003 Carlos received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Western Washington University for his work leading lightweight, international teams facing extraordinary challenges. He is applying his leadership experience in mountaineering to help corporations worldwide solve problems in organizational development and managerial performance.