Bil Dunaway and Mount Rainier |

Bil Dunaway and Mount Rainier

From left, Jim Whittaker, Bil Dunaway and Lou Whittaker in 1951.

During the war there was no guide service and little climbing on Rainier. But in 1947, Bil Dunaway took the guide service over. He then went to Europe to ski-race and go to school. When he came back in 1951 he took it over again. Two of his guides were the Whittaker twins, Jim and Louie, from Seattle.

Jim went on to have a major Himalayan climbing career and was a founder of the sporting goods firm REI. Lou Whittaker was one of the founders of Rainier Climbing Inc., the principle guide service on the mountain.

Dunaway, a 10th Mountain Division veteran who published The Aspen Times from 1956-1992, told me that when he was guiding he did nearly 35 climbs a summer. I asked him if any of his clients had ever fallen in a crevasse. He said no, but that he had.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User