On the 50th anniversary of his Mt Everest ascent, local climbing legend Jim Whittaker (REI member number 0001!) is reaching new heights right here in King County. Well, technically, his name will, and that of his climbing partner, Sherpa Nawang Gombu, as we honor their accomplishments by renaming the trails that lead to the highest point in Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park after the pair.
Announced earlier today by King County Executive Dow Constantine, the Wilderness Creek Trail and the Wilderness Peak Trail will together become known as the 1.9-mile Whittaker Wilderness Peak Trail, and the 1.3-mile Wilderness Cliffs Trail will become the Gombu Wilderness Cliffs Trail. Both lead to the top of Wilderness Peak in the southeast corner of the park, which at 3,100 acres is the largest park and most popular hiking spot in our system.
You’ll soon see the new signs at the park and updated trails map, and stay tuned for a celebration with Mr. Whittaker later this summer!