Jim Whittaker West Seattle High School 1952 Basketball Home About Inductees Attend Induction Ceremony Partners Contact us Jim Whittaker SPS High School Athletic Hall of Fame • Seattle WA Seattle Public Schools High School Athletic Hall of Fame with athletic photos and school district logo High School Played basketball for the Wildcats, formerly known as the Indians College Attended Seattle University Awarded Seattle University's first athletic letter for mountaineering Belonged to National Ski Patrol, charter member of Northwest Mountain Rescue and Safety Council Served as professional guide on Mount Rainier Other Mountaineer who became first American to climb to the top of Mount Everest, May 1, 1963 Presented with Hubbard Medal, the National Geographic Society's highest award Led first ascent of Mt. Kennedy (with Senator Robert Kennedy) in the Canadian Yukon in 1965 Leader of first US expedition to successfully climb K2, world's second- highest peak in 19788 Also an accomplished blue-water sailor who has twice skippered his own boats on the 2,400-mile Victoria-to-Maui International Yacht Race First full-time employee and eventual CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) Inducted into 2010 State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame Jim Whittaker at Mount Rainier