First American Ascent of Mount Everest–50th Anniversary

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On May 1, 1963 Seattle native Jim Whittaker became the first American to stand on top of the world. Three weeks later, on May 22, Tom Hornbein lead a team to the summit of Mount Everest via the West Ridge. This year, we celebrate fifty years of Americans on Everest thanks to these pioneers.

The American Alpine Club (AAC) will hold its annual Benefit Dinner in San Francisco on February 23 to honor all living members of the 1963 expedition. The AAC Benefit Dinner will feature Hornbein, Whittaker, Norman Dyhrenfurth, Allen Auten, David Dingman, Maynard Miller, and Richard Pownall, and offers attending climbers a chance to dine with this incredible group of mountaineers. These living legends have inspired generations of climbers and their accomplishments mark the beginning of an era of mountaineering. Unfortunately, the event was sold out far in advance, which is a testament to its historical significance.

In related news, Whittaker will be the keynote speaker at the upcoming Gear Expo at Comcast Arena in Everett on June 1-2. This event will be another chance to meet this mountaineering legend and an opportunity to hear Whittaker’s own account of his historic ascent. Don’t miss it!

SBM is planning a celebration in Seattle to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Whittaker’s climb. Come celebrate this historical day with other mountaineers, hikers and enthusiasts in the Seattle area. We’re bringing together our own exciting group of local Everest climbers for the celebration. Stay tuned for more event details but save the date, May 1, now.

Until then, check out these awesome photos from the historic 1963 expedition.





Loren is a Washington native, avid hiker, climber, and mountaineer. Loren lives in Seattle Washington with his wife Jeannie and dog Ruca and spends his time seeking out new alpine adventures in Washington’s highest places, enjoying the freedom that can only be found in the mountains.

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