Visit the Events page for a list of Jim's upcoming speaking events.
As the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, Jim Whittaker’s name is synonymous with risk, leadership and achievement. Yet for Jim, these physical achievements are just the tip of the iceberg. This internationally known mountaineer, adventurer and environmentalist is also an acclaimed speaker who has given presentations to hundreds of corporations and organizations over more than four decades. The thrilling story of his historic climb of Mt. Everest, his tales of exploration and adventure – plus his stunning images and video – bring listeners to their feet. He is lively, funny, inspirational and unforgettable.
Beyond the summit, Jim is a visionary business and community leader. As the former CEO of outdoor retailing giant REI, he has high-level business experience that is rare among adventure speakers – and he finds that mountain climbing is a perfect metaphor for the challenges of the business world.
Jim has served as confidant to Robert F. Kennedy; been a pivotal player in growing REI from a makeshift backroom operation into a multi-million dollar corporation; led both the first American ascent of K2 in 1978 and the wildly successful 1990 Mt. Everest International Peace Climb; and sailed across the Pacific Ocean and back with his wife Dianne Roberts and their two sons.
Jim is the author of the award-winning, best-selling memoir, A Life on the Edge: Memoirs of Everest and Beyond. An excerpt: "I heard a phrase not too long ago that pretty much captures my philosophy of life: 'If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.' It has nothing to do with thrill-seeking. It’s about making the most of every moment, about stretching your own boundaries, about being willing to learn constantly and putting yourself in situations where learning is possible – sometimes even critical – to your survival. Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn – and grow – the most."
If you would like information about Jim’s availability and keynote speaking fee for your next event, please contact Dianne Roberts through the Keynote Speaking Inquiry form.
Client list and testimonials available on request.