Archives On The Air 139: The Spirit Of Adventure—Luther Jerstad Papers

Apr 4, 2019

Mountaineer Luther Jerstad was part of the 1963 Mount Everest expedition. It was the first successful American Everest climb. Jerstad was passionate about mountain climbing and recalled crying when he reached the peak of Everest. 

He wrote, "Beyond everything that Everest, or mountaineers, or adventurers are, there is one fundamental all men face. We are men. If the time should ever come when men stop doing such things for enjoyment and unselfish motives, the world shall be dragged into a pit of despair. There shall be nothing left, for then man shall no longer be man."

Jerstad died of a heart attack in 1998 while hiking in Nepal with his 12-year-old grandson.

See film of the 1963 expedition in the Luther Jerstad papers at UW's American Heritage Center.