My Old Man and the Mountain

My Old Man and the Mountain

A Memoir

Book - 2016
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In 1963, the world followed the first American Mount Everest Expedition, and watched as "Big Jim" Whittaker became the first American to stand on top of the world. He returned home a hero.

My Old Man and the Mountain is Leif Whittaker's engaging and humorous story of what it was like to "grow up Whittaker"--the youngest son of Jim Whittaker and Dianne Roberts, in an extended family of accomplished climbers. He shares glimpses of his upbringing and how the pressure to climb started early on. Readers learn of his first adventures with family in the Olympic Mountains and on Mount Rainier; his close yet at times competitive relationship with his brother Joss; his battle with a serious back injury; and his efforts to stand apart from his father's legacy. With wry honesty he depicts being a recent college grad, still living in his parents' home and trying to find a purpose in life--digging ditches, building houses, selling t-shirts to tourists--until a chance encounter leads to the opportunity to climb Everest, just like his father did.

Leif heads to Nepal with all the excitement, irony, boredom, and trepidation that are part of high-altitude climbing. Well-known guides Dave Hahn and Melissa Arnot figure prominently in his story, as does "Big Jim." But Leif's story is not his father's story. It's a unique coming of age tale on the steep slopes of Everest and a climbing adventure that lights the imagination and fills an emotional human endeavor with universal meaning.

Read about My Old Man and the Mountain at Peninsula Daily News here
Publisher: Seattle, WA : Mountaineers Books, [2016]
ISBN: 9781680510683
Branch Call Number: 796.522092 W6177M 2016
Characteristics: 284 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Feb 09, 2018

superb author: Leif Whittaker

Feb 23, 2017

I loved this book! It's all full of surprises. If you're looking for a "these are the stories my dad told me while I was growing up" trudge, or "bittersweet memories of growing up in my dad's shadow" memoir, do NOT pick up this book. It's fresh and funny, written from a thoroughly original viewpoint. Leif Whittaker mixes history with stream of consciousness, journal entries with bursts of you-are-there newsreel narratives. Don't read ahead, just enjoy where Leif leads you. Too bad the waiting list is so long for this book; I'm so ready to share it!


Add Age Suitability
Feb 23, 2017

ybwest thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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