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Humanities in the Harbor: "Our Very Best on Everest: A Tribute to Gig Harbor's Premier Mountaineers"

Harbor History Museum and Tacoma Community College - Gig Harbor campus are excited to present Humanities in the Harbor, a monthly lecture series that explores unique and engaging topics for the Gig Harbor community that will run throughout 2017.

Humanities in the Harbor will continue in June with a special presentation by Douglas McDonnell on the achievements of Gig Harbor mountaineers, Luther Jerstad and Marty Hoey.

Luther G. (Lute) Jerstad (1936–1998) was an American mountaineer and mountain guide who was a member of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition. He reached the summit of Mount Everest by the South Col route on May 22, 1963 with Barry Bishop. Three weeks earlier, on May 1, Jim Whittaker and Sherpa mountaineer Nawang Gombu had reached the summit, placing an American flag there. Jerstad described seeing the flag as he and Bishop approached the summit, "Just then we came over the last rise and there was that American flag -- and what a fantastic sight! That great big flag whipping in the breeze, and the ends were tattered."

Marty Hoey (1951 – May 15, 1982) was a mountaineer who took part in a 1982 expedition to Mount Everest. During an attempted ascent that would have made her the first American woman to summit Everest, she plunged over the edge of the Great Couloir to her death, as the result of a climbing harness that had come unsecured.

On display for the presentation will be Jerstad's boots, backpack, pants, windbreaker, and ice axe from the 1963 Expedition. Rocks from the summit of Mount Everest and the Nepalese spirit banners Jerstad took to the summit will also be on view. As you enter the Museum you will see Bruce Bronson's 1963 Ford Falcon convertible which chauffeured Jerstad when Gig Harbor honored him with the largest parade the city has ever thrown for an individual. 

The Harbor History Museum will also provide a light Norwegian smorgasbord before the lecture begins for guests to enjoy.   

Humanities in the Harbor is held at Harbor History Museum, 4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA 98332. Admission is $5 and can be purchased online at page or by calling 253-858-6722; tickets may also be purchased at the door. Doors open at 5:30pm and talks begin at 6:00pm. 

Questions and inquires may be directed to Zachary Sokolik, Marketing & Events Coordinator at Harbor History Museum at, or KC Bitterman, Manager of Continuing Education at Tacoma Community College, at