Bil Dunaway and Mount Rainier |

Bil Dunaway and Mount Rainier

Jeremy Bernstein
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.

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