Jim's Open Road

There are no excerpts for this Leader.

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    10K Miles From Home

  • INTERVIEW LOCATION:

    Port Townsend, WA

  • AIRED ON:

    Indie: Team 10k Miles from Home (US)

JIM WHITTAKER

Mountaineer

“If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space.”

INTERESTS:

Action Sports

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Character Dedication Experience Risk

TAGS:

comfort zone, draft, Korean war, mountain climbing, mountaineering, mt. everest

BIOGRAPHY:

Jim Whittaker had mountain climbing in his blood growing up in Seattle, Wash., participating in Boy Scouts, where he first learned to rock climb, and then the Mountaineers Club of Seattle. But before Jim became the first American to climb the 29,028-foot summit of Mount Everest in 1963, he served as president of the popular outdoor and sporting goods store, Recreational Equipment Cooperative (REI), for 25 years, working his way up from a stock boy. But after spending nearly half his life at REI, Jim was tired of walking down the same path every day. Jim thought, "Screw it, I gotta get out, I gotta get some fresh air." And literally, he did. Jim, always striving to be the best in everything he did in life, made it his goal to climb the highest mountain. Many people cautioned him, but Jim knew, without a doubt, he could do it. He trained for more than two years for the expedition, proving and inspiring people everywhere that if you believe in yourself and work hard at what you love, you can do anything.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)