International Peace Climb

Tomorrow evening the 25th anniversary of the International Peace Climb will be celebrated in Seattle, WA. In 1990, when most of the world was at odds with each other, a group of people from the United States, Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Belarus, and China took it upon themselves to make a statement. A statement made by having the most successful summit of Mt. Everest, with a total of 20 people from the group reaching the summit over several days. Proving that a group of people from different countries could work together as one with a common goal.

The message, however, was not just that they could summit a mountain together. Rather, they were also making an environmental statement. The timeline they had for summiting coincided with the 20th anniversary from the first Earth Day. They wanted to bring awareness to the fact that we need to work together to take care of the planet we live on and demonstrated this by clearing over two tons of garbage from the mountain. Expedition leader, Jim Whittaker, said, “When our team left Base Camp, you couldn’t tell another human had been there.”

One of SlingFin’s own was honored enough to have been a part of this historic event and will also be in attendance. Robert Link, a lifelong mountaineer, was one of the 20 people of that expedition to summit Everest. Link has summited Mt. Rainier over 300 times and climbed extensively around the world.

As well as this being a reunion for the members of that original group, this gathering is also being held in hopes to once again raise awareness that it is time to join forces and start addressing the issues that the earth is facing.

“We’ve invited the leaders of our countries to talk to the team on Mt. Rainier—just like they spoke to us on Mt. Everest in 1990,” said Whittaker. “Presidents (H.W.) Bush, Gorbachev and Li Peng all called us—we had one of the very first satellite phones. They sent said that working on behalf of world peace and a clean environment was the most important thing we would ever do. It would be great to hear the same message from today’s leaders!”

All attending members of the team will travel together from Seattle to Mt. Rainier National Park. This is where they first met and trained for Everest in 1989. An official ceremony will be held at the mountain on the United Nations International Day of Peace, September 21st, followed by an anniversary celebration dinner in Paradise Lodge.

The following is information obtained from a press release Mr. Whittaker’s office sent out:

The public is invited to two special events, with slide shows by the team and a screening of the video about the 1990 climb, “Three Flags Over Everest,” narrated by Robert Redford.

The first is on Thursday, September 17 at 7:00 PM, at The Mountaineers Program Center, 7700 Sand Point Way, Seattle WA. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students and children, and may be purchased in advance at The Mountaineers. Advance purchase is encouraged, as seating is limited. All proceeds benefit The Mountaineers conservation and youth programs.

The second is a free event on Sunday, September 20 at 8:30 PM, in the lobby of Paradise Lodge, in Mount Rainier National Park. Seating is limited and is first-come, first-served.