My road in life has been direct.
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.