MountainZone, My 1990s Outdoor Sporting Start-Up Company

In the mid-90s I started a company called MountainZone with two business partners, Greg Prosl and Skip Franklin. We wanted to provide outdoor sporting information to people on the internet. We quickly grew our company to over 100 employees. Millions of visitors flocked to the website as we broadcast live climbs on Mt. Everest, one which found the body of legendary climber George Mallory.

We published articles and photography about snowboarding, skiing, climbing, hiking and mountain biking. Our video and audio files brought readers closer to the action. Our online store sold books, videos, sporting gear and more. Advertising revenue and travel booking brought in further revenue. Ultimately we sold MontainZone to Quokka, Inc. which was a public company broadcasting the America's Cup on the web and who wanted to expand their sports coverage.

On this page I'll post mementos, photos, videos and other 'Zoner paraphernalia and ephemera.

Media coverage of during the 1900s from the following sources:

  • MountainZone TV Commercial series
  • "Wild Wild Web" syndicated on CBS
  • CNN Financial
  • Seattle News on KIRO-TV
  • ABC Sunday Night Movie "Into Thin Air"
  • "Up To The Minute" on CBS
  • Live Update on CNN
  • Reebok's "PE-TV"
  • "Playing in Style" on FOX

Press coverage of (Internet World, 1998. Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1999. Industry Standard, 2000.)

Nagonzo! sent three correspondents to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. This is a video of their exploits behind the scenes. (Please excuse the video quality. This was originally encoded in 1998 at postage-stamp size because that's all our users could consume). Editor: Ray Taylor.

Behind-the-Scenes of a Cybercast. US Open Snowboard Championships. Stratton, VT 1997

A comic I drew about my experiences as a cybercaster.

Eric Simonson calling from Mt. Everest, announcing the discovery of George Mallory's body.

Shane McConkey Interview at Canadian National Extreme competition. (Please excuse the vintage low quality).

Ed Viesturs Endeavour 8000 Interview. Manaslu and Dhaulagiri. (Vintage low quality)

Legendary American mountaineer Alex Lowe talks about his climbing career. (Pardon the low quality)

Pinheads & Knuckledraggers 1998: A MountainZone recreational expedition to Mt. Rainier in 1998. Please excuse the video quality. This was before smartphones and GoPro cameras. I shot this with a bulky Hi-8 camcorder. We hiked for more than three hours and reached Camp Muir. Then we strapped on telemark skis (pinheads) and snowboards (knuckledraggers) and flew back down to the parking lot.