"SHSI Certificate of Recognition"
"Best on the Web"

Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
Marshall Cohen—researcher and producer, CNN

Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


From Encyclopedia Dubuque
Jump to navigationJump to search

HENKELS, Troy. (Dubuque, IA, 1967-- ). Avid mountaineer, ice climber, para-glider, mountain biker, kite-boarder, musician, photographer, adventure model, journalist, and cinematographer Henkels was a 1985 graduate of WAHLERT CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL. Beginning a life of adventure as an Eagle Scout, Henkels took on the challenges of the harshest environments on Earth including the South Pole, Mount Everest, Bering Strait, Kalahari Desert, Darien Jungle in Panama, and the mountains and ice caps of Greenland and Iceland.

As a mountaineer, Henkels has participated on ten climbing expeditions in the Alaska Range including a successful expedition on North America’s highest peak, Denali 6,193 meters (20,320 ft). He has also been on climbing expeditions to Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America at 6,949 meters (22,800 ft); Hvannadalshnukur, Iceland’s highest peak at 2,119 meters (6,952 ft); Peak 6296 Rongbuk Glacier, Tibet at 6,325 meters (20,750 feet); the North East Ridge of Mount Everest at 8,846 meters (29,021 ft), as well as four ascents of remote peaks in Antarctica.

His enjoyment of competitive endurance racing includes: Iditasport - a 100 mile winter endurance race across the interior of Alaska; Mt. Marathon - a mountain race, which ascends and descends 3000 feet in under an hour; Fireweed 400 Road Race – a 200 mile road bicycle race to Valdez, Alaska; and he has completed the Mayor’s Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. Henkels has been a team competitor in adventure races in Africa, Costa Rica, and Iceland.

In 2003, Henkels was a finalist on the adventure TV show “Global Extremes” airing on Outdoor Life Network and ABC. For the program, Henkels and other participants competed in a variety of adventure races culminating in Henkels and four other finalists attempting to climb the North East Ridge of Mount Everest. His decision not to continue the climb, he believes, saved his life.

Henkels exploration of polar environments included a 2005 attempt, with famed Belgian polar explorer Dixie Dansercoer, to cross the Bering Strait, from Alaska to Russia, on foot. In addition he's made a seven-day, 120 km. crossing of Iceland’s Myrdalsjokull Icecap. Henkels spent seventeen months in the Antarctic working as a communications technician. He played a key role on the Search and Rescue team at the American Base in McMurdo. Two of those months were spent at Amundsen/Scott South Pole Station. He was cinematographer on the 'In the Wake of the Belgica' expedition, documenting their historical sailing expedition to Antarctica. On this expedition, he made history by becoming the first person to kiteboard in Antarctic waters.

Photo courtesy: Troy Henkels

In 2020 he wrote "A Winter Ride Across Iowa" for the Telegraph Herald. The article recounted his adventure bicycling through freezing rain and snow from Akron in western Iowa to Dubuque. Stops included visiting relatives in Dyersville and Farley during a week that proved to be the coldest and worst in weather up to that point. (1)

While not on expedition, Henkels lives at Eagle River, Alaska and works as a communication technician. He has thrilled audiences with presentations ranging from exciting overviews of past and present expeditions to what it takes to go from a childhood in rural Iowa to experiencing some of the world's most extreme environments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qOVn5C-zws Kiteboarding Antarctica ---


1. Henkels, Troy, "A Winter Ride Across Iowa," Telegraph Herald, February 16, 2020, p. 5D

(Information found on Troy Henkels website and blog)