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Jim Wickwire

Jim Wickwire (born 1940) is an attorney in Seattle, Washington, most famous as the first American to reach the top of K2, the world's second-highest mountain, and then for surviving the night in the open just below the summit.

His first attempt on K2 was in a 1975 expedition that broke down in disputes and never getting above 22,000 ft.

Wickwire reached the summit with Louis Reichart[?] on September 6, 1978, but but while Reichart went down right away, he lingered to take photos, and on the descent he became concerned that he was having too much difficulty to move safely in the dark, and so he stayed where he was. This was extremely risky, because at such high elevations, the combination of tent and sleeping bag is essential to fending off hypothermia and frostbite[?]. The next morning, John Roskelley[?] and Rick Ridgeway[?] found him continuing down while on their way to the summit. Wickwire lost two toes and part of a lung.

Nevertheless, he continued high-altitude climbing.

In 1981, he was on Mount McKinley with Chris Kerrebrock[?], who fell into a crevasse[?], pulling Wickwire in after him. Wickware was able to get out, but was too badly injured to rescue Kerrebrock, who was alive but jammed in and unable to move, and died of hypothermia.

He made three (unsuccessful) attempts on the north side of Mount Everest (1982, 1984, and 1993). In the 1982 expedition, he was just below Marty Hoey[?] when her harness came unfastened and she fell to her death.


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