1995 Everest Challenge- The First Disabled Ascent

Everest Challenge Logo


The 1995 Everest Challenge was featured as part of the CBS Smithsonian Fantastic Journey with Dan Rather on August 10th,1996. The show contained a short segment of Tom's Everest story and his advocacy for people with disabilities.

For information about Tom's new Everest endeavor, check out Everest Challenge '98.

1995 Everest Challenge, the first disabled ascent of Mt. Everest was attempted between April 1 and June 6, 1995. on the classic North Ridge Route.

Tom Whittaker, Greg Child and filmmaker Leo Dickinson were the main expedition personnel.

A Log with photographs of the expedition's progress are posted here. Information on the expedition sponsors is also provided.

NOTE! An Epilogue and images from Base Camp have been added. Tom Whittaker has submitted a summary report on June 28, 1995. Our friend Tamas Brooks, 13, from Mission:Wolf in Colorado, after reading these Everest pages created his own artistic renditions of the Mt. Everest area. We are featuring two of his colorful graphics we think you will enjoy.


Everest, towering 29,028 feet above sea level, is not merely the highest mountain on Earth; it is the physical and emotional embodiment of ultimate challenge. Although the mountain has been climbed many times, it has never been scaled by a below-the-knee amputee. For a disabled person, the summit of Everest is a daunting challenge, no less than it was for Sir Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay who first ascended the mountain in 1953. An amputee needs to expend half again as much energy as an able-bodied climber, ranking this undertaking as one the most significant mountaineering exploits of this decade. For the disabled, technology has not diminished the challenge of Everest, it has brought it into focus.

This spring 1995, amputee Tom Whittaker is attempting Everest by the classic North Ridge Route. He has teamed up with Australian-born Greg Child, veteran of ten Himalayan expeditions, who has summited an impressive array of peaks, including K2 at 28,250 feet, the second highest mountain in the world.

The 1995 Everest Challenge Expedition will embrace the ethic of minimum environmental impact. This expedition will also retrieve discarded equipment from previous expeditions, to positively alleviate the impact of a less concious era.
(Note! Read the enviromental note from April 20th, in the Everest Updates section, for more information... gogrimm)

The expedition will be small. Four climbers are supported by Sherpa from Nepal. And, a film crew is led by the celebrated adventure film maker, Leo Dickinson. A veteran of more than 50 films, this will be his fourth film venture on Mt. Everest.


Mountain Visions Virtual Base Camp

Copyright©1995, Katy Flanagan & Gary O. Grimm, Mountain Visions

* Last update: 9/16/96 * All contents COPYRIGHT ©1995-1996 Mountain Visions * All Rights Reserved