Stan Huncilman was born in Indiana. After graduating from high school he left home with no particular destination in mind. His travels led him to stints as a welder in the shipyards of Louisiana and as a machinist in a Vermont foundry. Not long after leaving Vermont he joined the Peace Corps and headed to Ecuador. It was there among the snow capped volcanoes that he began his love affair with mountaineering. He eventually moved to San Francisco to study art at San Francisco State University and the San Francisco Art Institute. He received his MFA in Sculpture from the Art Institute.