Return to Mount Kennedy is now available on Digital and On-Demand
In a PEOPLE exclusive clip of the documentary Return to Mount Kennedy, Robert’s close friend and former REI CEO Jim Whittaker recalls the moment Robert climbed the Canadian peak named after the assassinated U.S. president.
“I was so delighted because I wanted him to get up there and show you the first human being to stand on the peak named after his brother,” Whittaker says, tearing up.
The moment was one neither of them would ever forget.
“That’s where the tears freeze up on the parka,” Whittaker adds. “We were bawling, it was really emotional.”
The documentary includes archival footage of Robert and Whittaker — the first American to summit Mt. Everest — making the climb in 1965 and their lifelong friendship before Robert’s own assassination three years later.
Fifty years after the two made it to Mount Kennedy, Whittaker’s sons Bobby and Leif, as well as Robert’s son Christopher, make the trek while confronting deeply emotional memories from a tumultuous era in American history.
The film is directed by Emmy Award-winner Eric Becker and follows two generations of friends as they come to understand their own personal history.