Mark Synnott is one of the most prolific exploratory climbers of his generation. His travels have taken him on nearly 30 expeditions to the far corners of the planet where he has had a seemingly endless series of epic adventures. A pioneering big wall climber, Synnott’s first ascents include some of the biggest cliffs in the world, like the northwest face of Pakistan’s Great Trango Tower, and the Polar Sun Spire in Baffin Island, a wall on which he and his partners spent 36 days living in a portaledge. Synnott is a long time member of The North Face “Dream Team,” and over the years he has had the privilege to climb extensively with legendary characters including the late Alex Lowe, Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin and the wonder kid Alex Honnold. Synnott’s climbing career has followed the arc of professional climbing from its birth in the mid 1990s to what it has become today. This puts him in a unique position to explore the subject of risk and to reflect on the old climbing proverb: “there are old climbers and there are bold climbers, but there are no old bold climbers.” A gifted communicator known for his wit and dry sense of humor, Synnott is widely regarded as one of the best story-tellers in the business. Over the past 20 years he has spoken at hundreds of venues across the US and abroad and his client list includes General Motors, the Bank of New York, Vanity Fair corporation, and the National Geographic Society.

"Most recently, Mark Synnott spent some time with us as the Chevy Avalanche product team closed its business and began transitioning to other assignments. Mark had dinner with many of our team members and delivered a great talk the next day on April 26, 2002. Mark truly captivated his audience with his stories and his reflections on his own personal growth and the importance of trust in your teammates. His references and parallels to our business were most appropriate and made the talk that much more meaningful to our team."

Tony Posawatz
Vehicle Line Executive, Full-size Trucks
General Motors Corporation

"Thanks so much for coming to NC to talk to part of the VF team. You did an outstanding job.While I knew much about you, it was very enriching for me to hear your perspective on your passions, your adventures, and your family. All of us are pulled in many directions as we pursue our dreams. Balancing those "priorities" is never easy when you have passion for more than one thing. While it's easy to decide which passion comes first, it's very hard to relegate anything you're passionate about to the number two position. I think that balance starts with an honest, "eyes wide open" perspective. You clearly have that."

My very best,
Eric Wiseman
President, Vanity Fair Corporation

"On behalf of the entire membership of the Harvard Traveller’s Club, I would like to extend to you my appreciation and thanks for the extraordinary presentation that you made to the Club last night. Your presentation was spectacular in many respects, from the truly superb slides taken from unique vantage points in the world to your honest and poignant emotions that you so willingly shared with your audience. Your presentation was extremely well received by the members of the Club. At the conclusion of your presentation, I heard many favorable comments. A number of people told me that yours was the best talk that they had ever heard at the Club. That is quite an accolade considering the caliber of speakers that we have had over the years….Again, many thanks for the outstanding presentation that you gave to us."

Very truly yours,
Louis Sgarzi
President, Harvard Travellers Club

"Once again, thank you for delivering such a superb presentation last week at the National Geographic Society. You are a compelling and truly gifted storyteller, a fact supported by the many favorable comments I’m still hearing, from first-time attenders and regular patrons, to the highly critical audiovisual technicians.The National Geographic Society has been presenting lectures for 116 years and I’ve seen a number of programs in my time with this department. I can honestly say that you are one of the best, and I look forward to having the opportunity to work with you again."

Greg McGruder
Director, Lectures and Public Programs
National Geographic Society