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

FOUNDATION:

Being Physically Active

TAGS:

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

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Did his first climb as a kid when he was in Boy Scouts.
  • Got to the top of his first mountain; found that he wasn’t completely intimidated, found it exciting.
  • Says he’s been “pulled” down different paths—was a guide on Mt. Rainier, was drafted into the Korean War, ran an REI store.
  • No matter which field he was entering, he says he worked hard to be the best at the job.
  • Became the first American to make it to the summit of Mt. Everest in 1963.
  • Prepared for Everest climb for two years; before the trip, his team was asked if they thought they’d summit—he was the only one to confidently reply, “yes.”
  • He worked at REI for 25 years; one day, in the middle of his paperwork, he realized he’d spent half his life there.
  • He’d climbed the ranks to president, but decided it was time for him to “get some fresh air”; retired at age 50.

Send us your feedback

(all fields are required)