CORRECTION: The original version of this column mistakenly said Seattle mountaineer Jim Whittaker died this spring. Whittaker, who summited Mount Everest at age 34 in May 1963, is still living.
Mount Everest continues to attract multitudes of climbers who want that experience.
We watched a TV special on the 60th anniversary of the first successful attempt by Edmund Hillary, and the 50th anniversary of the first successful American, Jim Whittaker.
The path to the summit is crowded today. In 2012 there were 547 who climbed Everest, and only 10 died. More than half of those who attempted the climb made it, a ratio that has been climbing. In 2000 only 24 percent succeeded, in 1990 the ratio was 19 percent.
The June issue of National Geographic showed lines of climbers on the way up, and a base camp crowded with climbers and support crews.
Jim Whittaker and I were on the state parks board together in the 1970s.