Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Taras Genet

Taras Genet

Taras Genet was born in 1978 near Talkeetna, Alaska. He is the son of well-known Swiss mountaineer, Ray Genet, and Kathy Sullivan, who was one of Ray Genet's assistant guides on Mount McKinley (Denali). Following in the footsteps of this climbing heritage, Taras climbed Denali in June 1991 at the age of 12. At that time, he was the youngest mountaineer to attempt this climb and the youngest to make the summit. Ray Genet died before he could lead his son to the summit of Denali, so Chip Faurot was the expedition leader who mentored the young climber. Taras is a quiet and intense young man, who, with the help of his mother Kathy, has handled his "youngest climber" celebrity and father-son relationship with poise, though it was stressful in the beginning. Taras' father, Ray Genet, was first associated with Denali in 1967 when he participated in the first successful winter ascent of the mountain along with Art Davidson, and he later became the first guide on Denali. Ray Genet died on October 2, 1979 while descending Mount Everest. Taras Genet now operates Denali Earth eco-friendly vacations based at the family's homestead cabins located in the wilderness on the south side of Denali.

Taras Genet appears in the following new Jukebox projects: