A Legacy of Adventure

Leif Whittaker brings his story of climbing Mount Everest to Sequim for a special edition of Traveler’s Journal

The summit of Mount Everest is 29,035 feet above sea level — that’s 5 1/5 miles high!


To successfully summit Mount Everest — the highest place on our planet — is an arduous, unbelievably demanding accomplishment which few humans have achieved. In fact Everest was not successfully climbed until 1953 and the first American to reach the top didn’t do so until 1963.


Mount Everest is a dangerous place. The climb is technical with large crevasses, snow and ice fields and steep ascents. The weather is dangerous with winds often over 100 miles per hour. It takes days just to get near enough to the summit to make an attempt. The process is exceptionally physically demanding, requiring mountaineering skill, stamina, the will to push on despite condition and guts.


Add to this the lack of oxygen and this becomes a very dangerous place indeed with no guarantee of survival, much less a successful climb.


You get the idea — to climb this mountain is an incredible accomplishment. To do it twice is nothing short of amazing. Leif Whittaker has reached the summit of Mount Everest twice in the past three years. His father, Jim Whittaker, became the first American to reach the highest point on Earth in 1963, 47 years before Leif did the same.


Leif’s adventures also have taken him to the highest peaks in Antarctica and South America. What else would you expect from a youth who grew up in a household where his dad’s mantra was “no kid left indoors.”


Join Port Townsend native Leif Whittaker as he describes his successful ascents of some of the highest mountains in the world. An outstanding storyteller and an accomplished mountaineer, Leif has lived a life of high adventure all over the world — this is sure to be an evening to remember.



About the presenter:

Port Townsend native Leif Whittaker, 28, is an accomplished adventurer, speaker and writer.


On May 24, 2012, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest for the second time to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent, when his father, Jim Whittaker, planted the Stars and Stripes on top of the world.


Leif also has climbed Antarctica’s tallest peak, Mount Vinson, and the highest mountain in South America, Aconcagua.


He is a successful public speaker who has presented his inspiring stories, beautiful photographs and breathtaking videos to a variety of organizations. Leif also is a published writer whose work has appeared in Window Magazine and The Mountaineer, as well as on popular blogs. He is working on a book about his experiences on Mount Everest.


About Traveler’s Journal:

Traveler’s Journal is a fundraiser for the Peninsula Trails Coalition. Money raised is used to buy project supplies and food for volunteers working on Olympic Discovery Trail projects. Ticket price for this special presentation is $10 for adults. Attendees 18 years and younger are welcome for free.


The show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, in the Sequim High School auditorium, 533 N. Sequim Ave. The seats are hard — bring cushions. For more information, call Tom Coonelly at 360-681-7053.