Announcing 'Jim Whittaker Day' + "Return to Mount Kennedy" Film Premier - Feb 19, 2019

In a surprise announcement at the December 9 showing of "Return to Mount Kennedy", Seattle's King County Executive Dow Constantine declared December 9 "Jim Whittaker Day". We're excited to recognize Jim, and announce we'll be hosting another premier in Seattle on Feb 19, 2019.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
December 18, 2018
Announcing 'Jim Whittaker Day' + "Return to Mount Kennedy" Film Premier - Feb 19, 2019

In 1965 Jim Whittaker led Senator Robert Kennedy to the first ascent of a remote mountain in the Yukon named after the late president JFK. Fifty years later, the sons of the original climbing team—a raucous band manager, a candidate for governor, and a young mountaineer—embarked on an expedition to the mountain to celebrate the special bond that connects them all. This expedition is captured in the film Return to Mount Kennedy, and was screened in front of packed house in Seattle on December 9, 2018, and will be featured again on February 19, 2019, at our Seattle Program Center.

With unreleased instrumentals by Eddie Vedder and never before seen footage and photos of Robert Kennedy, the feature-length documentary sits at the intersection of politics, human rights, environmentalism, and adventure. And, in a sweet spot for The Mountaineers.

This film weaves together these far-flung pieces of reality, the result is a beautiful, rare bird full of inspiration and hope. I was honored and thrilled to be a part of it. – Eddie Vedder

A long-time supporter of The Mountaineers, Jim Whittaker was on hand at the screening. In a surprise celebration, Seattle's King County Executive Dow Constantine joined Jim, Jim's son's Bobby and Leif, and Eddie Vedder on the stage to present 'Big Jim' with a giant, golden piton to King County. 


Dow shared a mind-boggling list of Jim’s accomplishments (serving as the first President and CEO of REI and the first American to summit Mt. Everest, to name a few), thanked him for his contributions to West Seattle and our larger Seattle and outdoor community, and declared that forevermore, December 9 will be known as ‘Jim Whittaker Day’ in King County.

Jim Whittaker Day final.jpg

The giant piton and declaration were clearly a surprise to Jim, who seemed very touched. Jim's eldest son Bobby Whittaker came up with the idea.

"It was a beautiful gesture from father to son. Bobby also had the giant piton made. Dad had no idea it was coming and was really surprised, but took it in stride and made some beautiful remarks about RFK and his vision for the world." - Leif Whittaker, Jim's youngest son and Bobby's half-brother 

Following the successful event on Sunday, the Return to Mount Kennedy team launched a special auction via their website where folks can bid on this a special autographed guitar courtesy of Vedder.  


Below are a few more photos from the event, and you can peruse even more here - and we hope you'll join us for the screening on February 19!:


Jim Whittaker and Mountaineers CEO Tom Vogl.


Leif Whittaker, Bob Whittaker, Jim Whittaker, Eric Becker, and Eddie Vedder (pretending to smash the guitar).

Return to Mount Kennedy

The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center
Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Doors at 6 pm | Show at 7 pm

General Admission - $12
Mountaineers Members* - $10

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*Mountaineers click here to redeem your membership discount

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