The Greatest Moments In American Mountaineering

A list like this is bound to stir controversy among mountaineers. A climb on a given mountain may be significant because it’s a “first,” but it may not be as physically challenging as a second or third ascent of the same mountain by other routes, or in other seasons, or when it is accomplished alone, or without the use of bottled oxygen. But here are 10 strong contenders, and a few sure bets, for anybody’s “greatest” list:—M.I. Read more »

Highest Adventure

The farthest, coldest outpost of President Kennedy’s New Frontier turned out to be in the Himalayas.

At One O’Clock on May 1, 1963, Jim Whittaker, a 34-year-old native of Seattle on his first Himalayan expedition, stepped onto the summit of Mount Everest. The six-foot-five-inch mountaineer, known as “Big Jim” to his fellow climbers, was the tenth climber and the first American to reach the top of the world’s highest mountain, 29,035 feet above sea level. Nawang Gombu, a 27-year-old Sherpa climber on his third expedition to Everest, accompanied him to the

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The Adventure Craze

MORE AND MORE AMERICANS ARE PAYING A LOT OF MONEY TO PUT THEMSELVES IN MORTAL DANGER. WHY? AND WHY NOW?

At 14,411 feet Mount Rainier with its 26 glaciers stands a magnificent mile above the mountains that surround it. I first saw it some 30 years ago, when I was making a tour of the far West with my family. We drove north from California specifically to visit it and stay in Paradise Inn, which sits high up on the slopes next to the vast alpine Paradise Meadow. It was July, and we knew the meadows would be in flower.

 
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