Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Leon "Pete" Sinclair

Pete Sinclair

Originally from New England, Leon "Pete" Sinclair was a rock climber and mountaineer with a lifelong love for adventure. After attending Dartmouth College and serving in the Navy, Peter headed west to Wyoming. In 1959, Pete and fellow climbers Jake Breitenbach, Barry Corbet, and Bill Buckingham completed the first ascent of the West Rib of Mount McKinley (now Denali) in 1959. This climb became one of the most famous, in part because the team shared their story in an article published in Time Magazine and other venues. Pete worked seaonally as a ranger for the National Park Service in Jackson, Wyoming while obtaining his BA in philosophy and English at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, got married, and eventually earned a PhD in in English Literature at the University of Washington. He taught at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington from 1971 until his retirement in 1999. Pete wrote a number of books, including an excellent memoir titled, "We Aspired: The Last Innocent Americans." Pete Sinclair passed away in 2015. For more about Pete Sinclair, see his obituary in The Olympian newspaper.

Date of Birth:
Aug 25, 1935
Date of Death:
Nov 28, 2015
Leon "Pete" Sinclair appears in the following new Jukebox projects: