Tom Hornbein

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1963, legendary mountaineer Tom Hornbein made history as part of the first American expedition to Everest. Three weeks after Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Everest, on May 22, 1963, Hornbein and his expedition partner Willi Unsoeld reached the summit by way of one most difficult ascents, the West Ridge. They descended on the south side, completing the first traverse of the mountain. A cornerstone of alpine history, Hornbein documented the experience in his book Everest: The West Ridge.