RMI has just reported that Leif Whittaker has stepped onto the summit of Mt. Everest. It was the culmination of a lifelong dream, and the fulfillment of a family legacy. Forty-seven years ago, on May 1, 1963, Leif’s father, Jim, became the first American to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain.
Leif departed Seattle on March 24 to begin a journey retracing his father’s historic footsteps and establishing his own in the storied Khumbu Valley of the high Himalaya. Accompanied by First Ascent guides Dave Hahn and Seth Waterfall, photographer Michael Brown and a team of Sherpa, Whittaker radioed from the summit. Dave accomplished his own significant milestone today, becoming the first non-Sherpa in history to summit Everest 12 times.
Congratulations to the entire First Ascent team! Stay tuned for reflections from Leif on what it feels like to climb the mountain that he has grown up hearing about and dreaming about and now has met face to face.
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