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

1950s

Lou and Jim begin climbing and guiding on Mt. Rainier







1963

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





1964

Jim consults and partners with Vibram soles






1969

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





1970

Lou and RMI partner with JanSport and test products on Rainier








1972

Lou and JanSport create the first freestanding dome tent









1975

Peter begins guiding on Rainier








1978

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



















1984

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






1985

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





1990

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








1992

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






1996

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














2000

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





2001

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




















2006

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





‘02–‘07

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








2009

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



2009

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




‘10–‘11

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



2012

First Ascent annual sales exceed $40 million














2018

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








1960s

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











1965

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





















1971

Peter’s first summit of Rainier, age 12















1975

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









1980

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



1980s

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


















1989

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


















1995

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





1998

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



1999

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







2002

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










2008

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













2013

PW's Eddie Bauer contract converts from licensing to consulting










2016

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



2017

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