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  Everest Legend: Dick Bass


Dick Bass was the first man to climb to the top of the seven summits, the high point of each continent. In fact, he is given the credit of being the first to conceive the idea of the 7 Summits. He achieved this great accomplishment on April 30, 1985 when he became the oldest climber (at the time), at age 55 to reach the top of Mt. Everest. 

Dick was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1929 and in 1932 moved with his family to Dallas, Texas. In 1950 he graduated from Yale University with a geology degree and continued on with graduate work at the University of Texas before serving two years with the U.S. Navy on board the aircraft carrier USS Essex during the Korean War. Afterwards, in mid 1953 he went back home to Texas to join in the running of the family oil and gas business and help out with the family ranching operations.

During a 1969 trip to the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, Dick’s life was changed forever. He caught an infectious energy and enthusiasm for the mountains and in 1971 opened the Snowbird Ski Resort. He has become one of the ski resort industries most dynamic and energetic leaders, which he attributes largely to his, “blanket curiosity, nonstop verbosity and hyper-enthusiasm.” 

In 1981 Dick began taking long absences from Snowbird in an attempt to bring into fruition his dream of climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents. This quest took him 4 years to achieve, and was completed on the top of Mt. Everest in 1985, on a fourth summit attempt.

Dick can still be found on the slopes of the Snowbird resort when he is not traveling around the country inspiring others through his lectures, focusing on overcoming adversity both in business and in life. He is also still climbing. In 1994 his title as oldest person to summit Everest was taken by a 60 yr. old Venezuelan. He made an attempt to reclaim the title in 2003 at age 73, however was turned back from the summit early due to a back injury suffered while trying to enter into his two man tent through the low vestibule.

See his 2003 expedition coverage here.

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