Everest: Raising awareness about global environmental issues - Sept 17

Learn about the environmental impact of the 1990 Everest Peace climb from living legend and lifetime Mountaineer Jim Whittaker. Join us September 17 to celebrate this important anniversary.
Dianne Roberts Dianne Roberts
September 15, 2015

In the spring of 1990 - when the US, China, and Soviet Union were Cold War enemies and real war seemed imminent -  I organized and led the Mount Everest International Peace Climb. Planned on for the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Day, we sought not only to reach the summit, but to send a message to world leaders about the state of the environment. 

Environmental Focus

In 1990, our team of climbers from the US, China, and the Soviet Union - Cold Ware enemies - proved that tremendous heights can be reached by working together in cooperation toward a common goal. Over a four day period, 20 climbers from our team reached the peak.

But climbing the mountain together was not our only goal. We also had an important environmental message to send to global leaders: the year  1990 marked the twentieth anniversary of the first Earth Day, and standing on the highest point on earth, where there is not enough oxygen to keep you alive, makes you realize how fragile this planet is.

We have to take care of it, and clean up the mess we’ve made. From the top down, our team removed over two tons of trash left by previous expeditions. When our team left Base Camp, you couldn’t tell that another human had been there.

“I admire the incredible courage and persistence of Jim Whittaker to bring mountaineers together to make a powerful statement for peace,” said Wang Shi, Chairman of China’s Vanke Corporation.

As China’s largest leader in green building, Vanke brought together a group of Chinese companies to support this cause.

“We feel a duty of global citizenry to pursue peace and sustainability. This could not be a better message—a call to action around the world to respond to climate change together.”

A REUNION to raise environmental awareness

Now it's twenty-five years later, and the earth is warming and the drums of war still beat. With the United Nation’s Day of International Peace on September 21, a team of climbers from the United States, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Belarus  are coming back together to send a message to world leaders that countries must work together to solve global problems. People around the world want a safe and clean planet for their children and grandchildren.

To mark the 25-year anniversary of the Peace Climb, we’ve invited the leaders of our countries to join us for a talk to the team on Mt. Rainier — just as they spoke to us on Mt. Everest in 1990. 

September 17 Kick-Off Event at The Mountaineers

We are also inviting the public to join us on Thursday, September 17 at 7pm, at The Mountaineers Program Center, to meet members of the team, thank our international supporters, and see a slideshow of this historic climb. I'll share a personal slide show, and you'll see other Peace Climb team members' accounts of this fateful climb. We'll also show a feature film presentation of Three Flags Over Everest. 

A special Q & A will follow the slideshow. 

Attend the Public Celebration - Sept 17

Date: September 17, 2015
Time:  7-9pm 
Place: The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center 
Ticket price: $20 

Advanced purchase is encouraged as seating is limited. All proceeds will benefit The Mountaineers conservation and youth programs.

 

THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SPONSORS

The Peace Climb Celebration and Reunion is sponsored by: REI, BGI, Yongjin, Toread, Kingdee, World Union, The Mountaineers, Vanke, and the Shenzhen Foundation for International Exchange and Cooperation. Supporters include: the Port of Seattle, the Washington State China Relations Council, and the Russian Consul General Andrey Yushmanov.

 

Editors Note: Additional information about Jim Whittaker and the Mount Everest International Peace Climb 1990 can be found in Jim Whittaker’s book, A Life on the Edge, Memoirs of Everest and Beyond, or at  Jim Whittaker.com.  To request an excerpt from the book or a digital copy, or arrange an interview with Jim Whittaker or other team members, please contact: Dianne Roberts at Dianne@JimWhittaker.com or 360-531-1235.