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Leif Whittaker Follows Father’s Footsteps to the Top of the World
Posted on May 24, 2010

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.

Author: - Monday, May 24th, 2010

  1. Christina Huguet

    Hope you guys stay safe on your descent down!

  2. Keith Bell

    That’s amazing, congratulations! Take care on the return.

  3. Dianne Robertsw

    We are so proud of you!
    Much love, Mom & Dad & Joss

  4. Danny Leadbeater

    Congrats Dave on an amazing 12 times. You are amazing. Leif – wow ! There are some amazing genes in that family of yours and I’m sure your dad is extremely proud right now. Stay safe for the return journey.

  5. Susan Moberg Hopkins

    AWESOME!! Congratulations and safe climbing back home.

  6. Brady's

    Congratulations to you, we are so happy for you to have reached your goal. sending you good wishes for a safe journey home. From all the Brady’s in your hometown

  7. Michael

    Way to go Leif! We are all very proud, now make it home safe.

  8. John Nowak

    Leif and team congratulations. It has been so moving to follow you on this adventure. We are so happy for you and looking forward to having you home.

  9. Hasse & Co.

    More whoops and hollers from Port Townsend!

  10. Jim Patterson

    Congrats Leif! And congrats to Dave for your milestone! Now…it’s like your father said: “How to get back down?” :-)
    Have a safe journey home.

  11. Craig

    Congrats Leif! Proud of you buddy! Stay safe on your journey home, looking forward to an adventure on the coast. Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  12. Colleen Myers

    Congratulations Leif! I just knew that you would climb Everest one day. You and your entire family are amazing!

  13. Maxine

    Fantastic news! Congratulations Leif on achieving that lifelong dream. Looking forward to reading anything you write about it!

  14. Stephen Plachta

    Wow! Great Leif! Look forward to welcoming you back safe & sound to oxygen-rich air! =)

  15. Anthony Whittaker

    Congratulations Leif! Stay safe, and when you’ve had time to recuperate, I’m looking forward to heading into the hills.

    Much love,

  16. Good one Leif

    Thanx for the Killa videos
    Dr DaveKaplan South Africa

  17. T-Dawg

    Way to go, Leif! A third Whittaker on top of Mt. Everest. That should be a new record in the number of climbers of the same family reaching the summit, shouldn’t it?! Get back safe and we all at Eddie Bauer, R-400, Rushmore will fallow you as you descend back to BC. YOU DID IT!!!!

  18. T-Dawg

    Great Job, Dave!! #12 marked down on the ice axe. You are an inspiration on many levels!
    Way to go Seth! Another summit! You rock, man.

  19. Dave kaplan

    Well done Dave Hahn for summiting 12 times
    First Non Sherpa to do it
    Good on you
    Big Heart
    Dr Dave

  20. Sutorius

    Way to go guys! Sounds like a good time. I sure hope you brought my cat’s ashes to the summit leif…it had always been OJ’s dream to climb Everest! Congrats! Get home safe.

  21. Steve Parker

    Leif, it’s one thing to have good genes; it’s another to make the most of them! Congratulations on a great accomplishment. Dave, Seth and all the party — way to go, stay safe.

  22. Jane Champion

    Leif…what a tremendous triumph, conquering your dream of following your father’s footsteps to the top of the world…congratulations on an awesome climb!!! Your dad is hero number one in my life…and now YOU join my team of heroes. Can’t wait to see the epic video of your magnificent journey!

  23. Kathy Roberts

    Way to go Leif! Fantastic and congratulations.
    Safe trip home. We look forward to hearing all about it.
    Uncle Graham, Aunt Kathy, Murray and Eric.

  24. Dan Pingree

    Leif, Dave, Seth, and team…

    Congratulations on a successful summit! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your dispatches and viewing your pictures.

    Now, get down safely. We’ll see you at the Highlander this summer.

  25. Missy Harper

    Congrats! Have a safe trip down. Seriously, you rock!

  26. Chuck Johnson

    Way to go Leif. The TOFU says way to go too.

    Chuck Johnson
    Port Townsend, WA

  27. Michael Wiltshire

    Congratulations Leif for accomplishing a feat beyond my comprehension.I’ve enjoyed following your tremendous
    accomplishment on your blog and youtube.Now I’ve got to get back to work here at the P.T. Paper Mill.My wife Ann is a rower with the Nails.

  28. Mike, Pat, Aaron, Rory Kenna

    Way to go Leif and team! ALL the Best to you going down and on the way home!

  29. Kristin Sackman

    A phenomenol achievement and a testament of your self determination, spirit and resolve. You belong to a tremendous family legacy; you honor them all.

  30. Caitlin White

    CONGRATS LEIF! You’ve been truly inspiring and I’ve loved checking in on your progress throughout this extraordinary experience of yours. Safe travels back!

  31. Richard Wiese

    Congratulations. I really admire you putting yourself on the line. Its not easy following in big Jim’s or your mothers footsteps.
    Looks like you have great genes. Keep going!

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