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Expedition Rewind: Everest 2009
Posted on October 29, 2014

Everest base camp photo: Jake Norton

For the Five Years of First Ascent celebration, we picked the top 10 missions our guide team has embarked on in the last five years. With 53 expeditions to choose from—ranging from Antarctica to the Arctic—narrowing the list to only ten was a tough task. But the one that clearly stood apart was Eddie Bauer’s return to Everest in 2009. During our triumphant return to Everest, guides Ed Viesturs, Peter Whittaker, Dave Hahn, Seth Waterfall, and Melissa Arnot returned the Eddie Bauer brand to the top of Everest 46 years after Jim Whittaker’s first American summit and the historic first ascent of the West Ridge on the Eddie Bauer-outfitted American Mount Everest Expedition in 1963. It was a triumphant return to the roof of the world for a brand that built its name in the golden age of Himalayan mountaineering.

Ed Viesturs on Everest in 2009

Following in the footsteps of the first American ascent, the First Ascent team brought an entirely new line of guide-built gear to the top of the world, and documented every step of the way. The historical climb was not far from their minds. Jake Norton wrote, “As I sit in my basecamp tent reflecting, I can’t help but think about my predecessors on this side of the mountain: May 1, 1963, when Jim Whittaker and Nawang Gombu (clad in Eddie Bauer down) struggled through deep snow and blasting winds to stand on the summit of Everest, Jim becoming the first American to reach the top.”

Everest 2009

Peter Whittaker, Jim’s nephew, in a dispatch from the very top, proudly told the world, “We are standing on top of the world. Return to Everest for the Whittakers and for Eddie Bauer.” Hear the radio dispatches, view images, and read the account from the top of the world at and watch the recap in the Expedition Rewind video below. —LYA Editor

Author: - Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

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