National Geographic Live: Life on the Vertical
Mark Synnott, Climber
Mark Synnott is a man ever on the brink of new discovery. A big wall rock-climber of the highest order, he’s made legendary first ascents of some of the world’s tallest, most forbidding walls, from Baffin Island to Pakistan. Today, he uses his skills to break scientific ground, reaching incredibly inaccessible environments in search of rare species. It’s all in the spirit of adventure and exploration in order to educate about these sites of strange, remote beauty.
Mark Synnott, 45, is a pioneering big wall climber and one of the most prolific adventurers of his generation. His search for unclimbed and unexplored rock walls has taken him on nearly 30 expeditions to places like Alaska, Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland, Newfoundland, Patagonia, Guyana, Venezuela, Pakistan, Nepal, India, China, Tibet, Uzbekistan, Russia, Cameroon, Chad, Borneo, Oman, and Pitcairn Island.
One of the first climbers to explore Baffin Island's remote east coast, Mark has been on five trips to the island and has pioneered four big wall first ascents on the east coast, including a grade VII on the 4700-foot north face of Polar Sun Spire—an epic wall that required the team to spend 36 nights in portaledges. In Auyuittuq National Park, Mark completed the first ski descent of the South Face of Mt. Odin via a 5000' couloir.
His book Baffin Island: Climbing, Trekking, Skiing was published in 2007. In Pakistan’s Karakoram Mountains, Mark established two grade VII big wall first ascents—The Ship of Fools on Shipton Spire and Parallel Worlds on Great Trango Tower. The latter, a 6000-foot wall topping out over 20,000 feet, is one of the longest rock climbs in the world. Closer to home, Mark has climbed Yosemite’s El Capitan 22 times, including several one-day ascents.
When he's not in the mountains, Mark works with The North Face Research, Design, and Development team and lectures frequently on his life as a professional climber and explorer. He has done motivational speaking for clients like General Motors, Bank of New York, Vanity Fair, the X Prize Foundation and National Geographic. Mark has also worked extensively in the film and television industry, both in front of and behind the camera. His credits include work for National Geographic Television, NBC Sports, Warren Miller Entertainment, Teton Gravity Research and Red Bull Media House. An accomplished journalist and author, Mark is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine, and his work has appeared in many other publications, including Men's Journal, Outside, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Skiing, and New York Magazine.
Mark is also a certified mountain guide and the owner and director of one of the premier guide services in the east: Synnott Mountain Guides. SMG offers instruction in rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, backcountry skiing, and avalanche education. He is also a longtime member of the Mountain Rescue Service (MRS) and currently serves on the board of MRS and the Access Fund.
Directions & Parking
A special preferred parking rate of only $5* is available for our patrons in our designated garage.
7th Street Station Parking Garage
Enter on 6th or 7th Streets between N. College and N. Brevard Streets.
*The $5 rate is applicable when parked in the garage after 5pm on weekdays, Mon – Fri. If parked in the garage before 5pm, the $5 rate is void. There is no time restriction for the weekend, Sat & Sun.
GETTING AND USING YOUR PARKING PASS WHEN YOU ARRIVE
- Pull the garage entry ticket when you arrive at the designated garage. You will need this to exit!
- Purchase a $5 Blumenthal exit pass at the theater or purchase in advance online. If you would rather purchase by phone, please call 704.335.1010*
WHEN YOU EXIT
- Insert your garage entry ticket into the yellow slot. Amount due will display on the screen.
- Insert your Blumenthal exit pass in the same yellow slot, with arrow pointing at slot.
- Gate arm will rise and screen will display “drive safely.”
*Pre-paid parking is not available day of show.
McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square seats 730 and has become a showplace for live performances.
Uptown’s only historic theater, McGlohon Theater was originally the First Baptist Church sanctuary. The venue was carefully restored and opened in 1980. With its stained glass windows and Byzantine dome, this historically designated space makes each event a memorable experience. McGlohon Theater features the orchestra (stage) level and the balcony level.
The theater is named in honor of the late, legendary jazz pianist Loonis McGlohon of Charlotte.