Feb 23, 2013 12:36 AM by Associated Press
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Surviving members of the first American expedition to reach the top of Mt. Everest are in the San Francisco Bay area for a meeting honoring the 50th anniversary of their achievement.
The American Alpine Club is hosting events this weekend with four of the men whose historic trek in May 1963 was recognized by President John F. Kennedy and helped popularize mountaineering in the U.S.
Jim Whittaker was the first American to summit Everest. The 84-year-old Seattle man says his memories of facing the possibility of death there made him appreciate every day of his life since.
Joining Whittaker for the reunion are expedition organizer Norm Dyhrenfurth, climber Tom Hornbein, who forged a new route up Everest during the trip, and Dave Dingman, the expedition's doctor.