In May of 1963 Seattle mountaineer Jim Whittaker stepped into world history by becoming the first American to summit Mount Everest. He was also part of the first American team to summit K2 and fifty years later, he is still regarded highly for his mountaineering, as one of the founders of the outdoor recreation industry, and as a keynote speaker. Jim Whittaker’s son Leif Whittaker reached his first summit when he was 15 years old and since has climbed many of the world’s tallest mountains including Aconacagua, Mount Vinson and Mount Everest twice. He is a passionate mountaineer as well as an avid outdoor enthusiast. His writing and photography has appeared in Powder, Backcountry and The Ski Journal. His first book “My Old Man and the Mountain” was published October of 2016. He is a Climbing Ranger for the US Forest Service. Both Leif Whittaker’s book “My Old Man the Mountain” and Jim Whittaker’s book “A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond” will be available for sale/signing at the event.
This remarkable event launches the Lopez Library’s winter/spring series “Beyond Limits” which celebrates the library’s extensive collection of books on adventure and exploration. The series will also feature World Kayaker Nigel Foster discussing his book “On Polar Tides”, two remarkable kayak trips to north Labrador/Hudson Strait dodging polar bears, storms & calving icebergs; RAAM-Race Across America, a bike race more rugged than the Tour de France & one of the ultra-endurance events held each year (premiering on the Center’s big screen, their new documentary just in time for the Tour de Lopez); Seattle trekking company Mountain Madness discussing their 32 year history & the pursuit of the 7 Summits (Mountain Madness as featured in Jon Krakauer’s bestseller “Into Thin Air”); and our own local climber Gregg Blomberg discussing the first winter ascent of Mt. McKinley in 1967. This exciting series is designed to lift the Lopez community through the last stretch of winter. Presented to you by Friends of the Lopez Library & the Ramsey Shirk Fund. For more information contact Jen Krajack at the Lopez Library 468-2265