Home NEWS Legendary Mt. Rainier Guide Lou Whittaker Dies at 95

Legendary Mt. Rainier Guide Lou Whittaker Dies at 95

by thesummiters.com
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The news of the mountaineer’s “Rainier Guide” passing was shared today by the Associated Press. Rainier Mountaineering Inc., the company he established back in 1969, confirmed that he peacefully breathed his last at home on a serene Sunday. Lou Whittaker bid farewell to this world at the age of 95.

Lou’s journey in the world of climbing began in the 1940s side by side with his twin brother Jim. While Jim engraved his name in history as the first American to summit Mount Everest in 1963 Lou carved his own path. His crestal achievement came in 1984 when he led the first American ascent of the treacherous Everest North Col.

Seattle was more than just a home for Lou it was the birth place of his love affair with the mountains. His name became synonymous with guiding climbers up the hardy slopes of Mount wet. Over the years he led an estimated 250 expeditions to Washington’s highest peak leaving an indelible mark on all who followed him, including the esteemed Ed Viesturs.

He saved many lives

Lou Whittaker’s dedication to saving lives in the mountains deserves special recognition. Throughout his career, he bravely rescued numerous people, a fact confirmed by RMI to the AP. This included perilous missions aiding military mountain units. In the 1950s, both Lou and Jim Whittaker played crucial roles in training the esteemed 10th Mountain Division at Camp Hale, Colorado.

Following their service, Jim took charge of managing REI’s inaugural store, while Lou pursued his passion for guiding expeditions on some of the world’s most challenging peaks, including Mount Rainier and Denali.

The company also emphasized Lou’s profound connection to the mountains, describing them as the source of his vitality, confidence, and achievements. They credited him with making the sport of mountaineering more accessible to all.

Lou leaves behind his son, Peter, who now leads Whittaker Mountaineering, and his brother, Jim, who continues to share his wealth of experiences through his work as a writer and speaker, ensuring that Lou’s legacy lives on in the hearts of adventurers everywhere.

Source: ExplorersWeb

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