Lou Whittaker

Lou Whittaker

Memoirs of a Mountain Guide


By author: Lou Whittaker   With: Andrea Gabbard
272 Pages, 978-0-89886-459-5
Mountaineers Books 07/31/1995
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Paperback / softback
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* The only biography of this Northwest's climbing hero
* Features 15 color photos
* Remarkable stories of climbs on K2, Kangchenjunga, and Denali
* Features stories about Jim Wickwire, Pete Schoening, John Roskelley, Joe Kennedy, Jr., Peter Whittaker, and Willi Unsoeld

Lou Whittaker has been one of America's most respected climbers for more than four decades. He began his illustrious mountaineering career as a teenager in the Pacific Northwest, climbing insatiably with his twin brother, Jim. He earned coveted spots on expeditions to formidable peaks in Alaska, the Himalaya, and the Karakoram, and went on to lead the expedition that made the first American ascent of the North Col on Everest in 1984. To Northwesterners, Lou's name is synonymous with Mount Rainier, where he has guided thousands to its summit since his own first ascent of the mountain at age 19.

In Lou Whittaker: Memoirs of a Mountain Guide, Lou is at his storytelling best as he shares adventures and wisdom honed from the wild times of his youth to his more recent climbs with some of the country's best mountaineers. Tales of life as a young mountain rescuer, and later as mentor to others, are filled with his trademark humor, boundless energy, and compassion. He weaves his simple and practical philosophy through memories of climbing with Jim Wickwire, Pete Schoening, John Roskelley, Joe Kennedy, Jr., and a host of other celebrities and VIPs. He recounts amazing episodes on Mount McKinley, K2, Everest, Kangchenjunga, and his beloved Mount Rainier. Evident and inspiring throughout are his love for climbing and for life -- even amidst the loss of friends and promising young proteges.

When it comes down to dying, Lou says, "I want to know what it is like to have really lived."

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