May 1 isn't just an anarchist's holiday—it's the day that Seattle local Jim Whittaker reached the 29,029-foot summit of Mount Everest in 1963, making him the first American to do so. Since then he hasn't done much...aside from becoming BFFs with the Kennedy family and CEO of a little company called REI.
And then there's his twin brother, who took his climbing prowess to Mount Rainier, where he's led thousands up the local peak. They're Washington outdoors royalty; read the mostly-true story of the famous, tall tale-telling Whittaker boys here.
Mountaineers Books has released a new edition of Jim's biography A Life on the Edge to commemorate the date, and he'll even personalize signed copies ordered through his website. He'll next appear at the Gear Expo in Everett on June 1 and 2.
And for more Everest talk, see climber Tim Hornbein and journalist Jon Krakauer talk climbing at the Mountaineers Program Center in Magnuson Park on May 22. They'll chat about how, on the same trip as Whittaker's celebrated ascent, Hornbein and the late Willi Unsoeld pioneered the mountain's near-impossible West Ridge route.