Roots 1600 X419 2

Our Roots

"Everything I know, everything I believe in, I've learned from the mountains."

-- Lou Whittaker

"Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn and grow the most."

-- Jim Whittaker

"When we say this is a way of life, it really is in our blood. My family and I have been guiding and climbing for over a half century and have collaborated with industry leading manufacturers along the way to improve the gear we use. After 65 years of teaming with manufacturers, and tagging a few summits along the way, we decided it was time to build our own gear. Exactly the way we need it to function."

-- Peter Whittaker


Lou and Jim begin climbing and guiding on Mt. Rainier


Jim becomes the 1st American to summit Everest in Eddie Bauer expedition down


Jim consults and partners with Vibram soles


Lou buys Rainier Guide Service and forms Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) soles


Lou and RMI partner with JanSport and test products on Rainier


Lou and JanSport create the first freestanding dome tent


Peter begins guiding on Rainier


Jim leads first American ascent of K2, 2nd highest mountain in the world


Lou leads the first American ascent of Everest's North Face. Peter's first Everest Expedition


Peter launches Summits Adventure Travel, an international guide service,
outfitting and guiding over 250 trips


Peter (PW) partners with Marmot to collaborate on gear and apparel


PW guides oldest man and woman (at the time) up Mt. Vinson, Antarctica


RMI pioneers the use of a shuttle service in Mt. Rainier National Park (MRNP) to reduce parking congestion and environmental impact, which becomes industry standard for concessionaires in MRNP


PW and Buck Knives form a licensing partnership to develop a speciality line


Buck/Whittaker adventure knife series is launched with 24 products. Multiple products win industry awards


PW buys RMI Expeditions from Lou and takes the lead as CEO


PW collaborates, designs, tests, and markets mountain products with Mountain Hardwear, Buck Knives, JanSport, and Timberland. Industry awards are given for the Whittaker/JanSport pack and Buck/Whittaker Approach knife


May, First Ascent is launched as PW and his guide team summit Everest in the product they built


Final test of all products on Everest by PW and his guide team


PW and his guide team collaborate with Eddie Bauer building First Ascent gear


First Ascent annual sales exceed $40 million


MtnLogic changes its name to Bight Gear, adds new styles to complete the alpine kit, and sets a trajectory to hit 100 million vertical feet in testing by the end of the year


Lou on the summit of Denali, prototyping Eddie Bauer expedition down


Jim guides Bobby Kennedy up Mt. Kennedy in honor of his brother John F. Kennedy (JFK)


Peter’s first summit of Rainier, age 12


Lou and Jim on first American K2 expedition…suns out guns out!


Lou partners with New Balance and creates the first lightweight trekking boot by putting a Vibram sole on a tennis shoe.


Lou and Peter guide and operate RMI Expeditions with multiple gear partners including: Helly Hansen, JanSport, New Balance and The North Face


Lou leads first successful American expedition of Kangchenjunga, 3rd highest mountain in the world


PW co-founds Expedition Inspiration with Laura Evans, partners with JanSport and Marmot and leads 17 breast cancer survivors on Aconcagua raising $2.3 million for research and awareness


PW collapses Summits Adventure Travel and launches Whittaker Mountaineering, an outdoor speciality retail store at the base of Rainier


PW partners with Mountain Hardwear who becomes the official sponsor of RMI Expeditions and the primary partner of Whittaker Mountaineering


PW and RMI lead the collaboration of National Park Service stakeholders and concessionaires from 4 national parks to develop the LNT Alpine Principles which is now a model for responsible resource management


PW assembles a select RMI Expeditions guide team to build 50 First Ascent products testing them on Rainier, Cotopaxi, and Aconcagua


PW's Eddie Bauer contract converts from licensing to consulting


April, PW begins next chapter building mountain gear and launches MtnLogic


Focused on building product and dialing it in, MtnLogic racks up over 40 million vertical feet of product testing and validation on Mt. Rainier