First American to Summit Everest at Vibram Boston Store

April 15, 2013, may be most commonly associated with taxes but this year it’s also the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Vibram is celebrating the marathon this year by hosting famous mountaineer Jim Whittaker at their flagship retail store on Saturday,…

April 15, 2013, may be most commonly associated with taxes but this year it’s also the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Vibram is celebrating the marathon this year by hosting famous mountaineer Jim Whittaker at their flagship retail store on Saturday, April 13.

Whittaker was the first American to summit Mount Everest fifty years ago! Whittaker was 34 at the time — talk about an incredible accomplishment. He’s also noted as the first employee of REI and he went on to ultimately become REI’s CEO and Chairman before retiring.

I’ve not read Whittaker’s autobiography A Life on the Edge, but in reading up on reviews of the book (5 stars on Amazon), I found a quote from Whittaker that lands the book squarely on my list:

From A Life on the Edge:

I heard a phrase not too long ago that pretty well captures my philosophy of life: “If you aren’t living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.” It has nothing to do with thrill-seeking. It’s about makign the most of every moment, about stretching your own boundaries, about being willing to learn constantly, and putting yourself in situations where learnings is possible—sometimes even critcial to your surivival. Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn—and grow—the most.

— Jim Whittaker

I won’t be able to attend the event, but if you happen to be in Boston, the first 100 visitors to the store will get a free book!

Finally, we’re doing a little FiveFingers giveaway compliments of Vibram! To be eligible to win a pair of VFFs of your choosing (anything available on — U.S. models only), simply share this post on twitter or facebook using this link sometime between now and Friday, April 12th at noon Eastern Daylight Time:

Congrats to James Martinez (Twitter follower @Jarza_Quinntes) on winning!

The winner will be announced here on the blog at that time and contacted! NOTE: shares on Facebook must be public in order to track them and be eligible! Same for Twitter in case your tweets are private. Good luck!

And finally, anyone out there running the Boston Marathon? What shoes will you be wearing (if any)?

Full press release after the jump!

First American to Summit Everest at Vibram Newbury Street Store April 13

Celebration of Store’s One Year Anniversary Includes Jim Whittaker Book Signing

WHAT: Vibram will celebrate the one year anniversary of its unique “experiential store” with Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Everest fifty years ago. Whittaker will be signing Life on the Edge, a book chronicling his summit and life adventures. Jim completed the summit using Vibram soles.

WHERE: 292 Newbury Street (between Gloucester and Hereford Streets) 857.263.8507

WHEN: Saturday April 13: Marathon Weekend, Book signing from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m.

ABOUT THE STORE: The flagship location features “experience zones” throughout the floor allowing visitors to wear test FiveFingers on a wooden bridge, inlaid marbles, woodchips, grass, stones and even a bumpy yellow safety strip used in the subway. The store also displays an interactive timeline area summarizing the company’s 70-year legacy in sole design. Throughout the space it showcases partners’ product on a themed, rotating basis. The ambiance and vibe of the flagship store is a direct reflection of Vibram’s outdoor and Italian heritage, with natural materials, complimentary espresso and historic brand items. The space will offer select models of Vibram FiveFingers as well as a few models only sold in Europe.

ABOUT WHITTAKER: Seattle mountaineer, Jim Whittaker, became a part of world history when he became the first American to summit the Earth’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, on May 1, 1963. As we approach the 50th Anniversary of this climb, Whittaker is regarded as a ground-breaking figure in North American Mountaineering. In addition to this legendary climb and many other climbing accomplishments (Mt. Kennedy, K2, 1990 Mount Everest International Peace Climb, etc.), Whittaker is also considered a business visionary in the world of outdoor recreation. He began as Recreational Equipment Inc.’s (REI) first full-time employee and retired after 25 years as the President and CEO. He built REI from a small mountaineering co-op to a multimillion-dollar business with stores nationwide. He led Bobby Kennedy on a first ascent of Canada’s Mt. Kennedy, and then developed a close friendship with Kennedy—later running his presidential campaign in Washington State.

By Justin

Justin Owings is a deadlifting dad of three, working from Atlanta. When he's not chasing his three kids around, you'll find him trying to understand systems, risk, and human behavior.

3 replies on “First American to Summit Everest at Vibram Boston Store”

Those boots he’s wearing on Everest look a lot more comfortable than the plastic mountaineering boots they’re using these days. For winter I wear Steger Mukluks. Extremely flexible sole so your feet stay warm because they can flex. And they are very light weight.

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