On May 1 in 1963, Jim Whittaker became the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He was part of a team led by Norman Dyenruth that made a multi-pronged ascent of the mountain, including a daring route by Tom Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld of the previously unclimbed West Ridge.
Last month, almost fifty years later, the American Alpine Club gathered a few of the surviving members of the expedition in San Francisco to celebrate their accomplishment. In attendance were the expedition leader, 95 year-old Norman Dyenruth, who flew in from Austria; Jim Whittaker (who appeared at Mountainfilm 2009); Dave Dingman, who did not summit but was a key part of the team; and Tom Hornbein, who displayed a jar that held Willi Unsoeld’s toes to the audience. The event was presented by Eddie Bauer, which provided the original gear used by the alpinists.