About Andy

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Andy on a climbing trip in Southern India, died in a small plane crash April 10, 2015 in the Frank Church Wilderness in Central Idaho.

  Today I hear about our great teacher and friend, Mr. Andy Tyson. We are so sad about this news and God rest his soul  -Zahoor Hussain, Khurpa Care, Pakistan.

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I’m Chris from Germany. I was in contact with Andy since February since I’m planning for an expedition to the Hkakabo area, when I heard the tragic news from the accident. I only had email contact to Andy, but he was such a helpful and open guy, you hardly meet guys like that. His replies were very motivating for me and I really had the feeling he wanted us to get this expedition done. 

Just like Andy we want to take members of Technical Climbing Club of Myanmar along and share our experience and teach them as much as we can. Talking to Andy, I had the feeling he really cared so much about the country and people of Burma. If we get our expedition done, together with Nyi Nyi Aung, we had the idea that we would like to take a photo of Andy up on the summit as a memory of what Andy did for the people…

I only want you to know that Andy was a great, motivating guy, inspiring people around the world – as helpful and supportive as one can be…even to a stranger like me.  –Chris, climber, Germany.

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If you ever have to hunker in a snow cave for 8 days on Patagonia’s Campo de Hielo, Andy Tyson is someone you’d want to hunker with. We spent an inordinate amount of time laughing. I wish I could go back and do it all over again. -Shawn Benjamin, National Outdoor Leadership School, Chile. 

On April 10th, 2015 Andy and three men, including two friends, were killed in a plane crash in P1010084Central Idaho. They had flown into the site with a team from Creative Energies, a renewable energy company that Andy co-founded in 2001, to begin work on a solar and hydroelectric system for a remote ranch. 

Born Oct. 15, 1968, to Henrietta and David Tyson of Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, Andy loved the outdoors from an early age. His father, a mathematics teacher at Mercersburg Academy where Andy attended high school, remembers his son climbing everything he could. In high school Andy joined the outing club and began boating, climbing and hiking. He continued to pursue these interests during college at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, where he graduated in 1991 with degrees in geology and physical education — studies that allowed him to spend time in the great outdoors that he so loved. While in college he worked summers in a kite shop in Ocean City, Maryland, which led to his first international experiences: a stint at a kite shop in Australia and as a crew member on a sailboat that traveled across the Atlantic from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Portugal.
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Andy and Molly with Danuru Sherpa, Mingma Tenzing Sherpa and Phinjo Sherpa at Khumbu Climbing Center graduation.

Upon his return from that sailing trip in 1992 Andy came West to attend an instructors course with the National Outdoor Leadership School in Lander and began leading climbing, mountaineering, sailing, hiking and caving courses in the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, British Columbia, India and Patagonia. During his time at NOLS Andy met his beloved wife, Molly Loomis Tyson, who became his partner in adventure. The pair frequently left their home in Teton Valley, Idaho, to explore the world  climbing, boating, skiing, exploring and writing about their experiences. Andy’s friends remember him as a talented athlete, an accomplished mountaineer and an all-around outdoorsman who excelled at everything he tried. But his adventures were about more than technical accomplishments. He found inspiration and motivation in the people he met on his journeys, and, in return, the people he met were inspired and motivated by him. Andy believed in challenging himself. As he said in a TEDx talk he gave in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, in 2014, “Succeeding on a problem is rewarding but finite. We should try another problem and build on the experience. … Unless we challenge ourselves, we go nowhere.”
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Andy teaching knots to Omani climbers.

In addition to working for the National Outdoor Leadership School, Andy spent 25 years guiding and teaching. He worked for many of the U.S.’s most respected institutions such as Exum Mountain Guides, Alpine Ascents International, where he worked as AAI’s Expedition Manager, and Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions, leading people to the top of peaks such as Mount Vinson, Cho Oyu and Aconcagua. Recent personal expeditions included a trip to the Genyen Massif in China, where he and Molly completed first ascents of several peaks, and to Myanmar, in 2013, when he led an American-Burmese team that completed the first ascent of Gamlang Razi, possibly Southeast Asia’s highest peak. Exploratory expeditions were Andy and Molly’s passion, and their search for remote ranges took them to places such as Oman, Kyrgyzstan, the Arctic, India, Tibet and many, many others. In 2014 he was poised to guide on Everest and was among first on scene with rescue and recovery efforts when a massive avalanche struck in the Khumbu Icefall. He is the author of two how-to books on climbing and mountaineering: Climbing Self Rescue (with Molly Loomis) and Glacier Mountaineering (with Mike Clelland). At Creative Energies, the company he helped start, Andy strove to find innovative ways to build a sustainable energy future for our world. In supporting this vision he served on the board of directors for the Charture Institute for eight years, was a member of the Idaho Clean Energy Association and was the chairman of the Solar Task Force for the Idaho Strategic Energy Alliance, providing recommendations to the governor on solar. He also was a longtime member of Teton Valley Recycling, volunteered for a stint as training manager for Teton County Search and Rescue and was a longtime participant in the Jackson Eco-Fair. Under Andy’s lead Creative Energies was a founding member of Tetons For Tomorrow. He also helped start Teton Valley Chance and most recently was a board member for Tetons For Tomorrow. Andy volunteered to teach climbers in Myanmar, China, India and most recently, Nepal, at the Khumbu Climbing School.
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Andy rowing on the Green River’s Gates of the Lodore

Andy was known for his physical strength, stamina, grit and determination, but more importantly to his friends and family, he was loved for his kindness, curiosity, energy and willingness to try whatever was thrown at him. He could jump off the couch and run 20-plus miles through the mountains, sail across the ocean, float a single track, make a difficult climb look easy, fly a kite, ski a steep couloir, longboard twisty roads, packraft through rapids and build or fix just about anything. Yet he carried himself with humility and relished in others’ successes. He was a rare mix of intelligence, kindness, mischief, playfulness and made the people he touched better people. We miss him tremendously. 

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He is the best; our Hero of Gamlang Razi, we never forget him -San Win Kyaw, Gamlang Razi Team, Myanmar.