Jim's Open Road

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


Action Sports Sports


Beliefs & Faith Character Dedication Experience Risk


Being Physically Active


  • 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.

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