Washington resident Ed Viesturs is widely regarded as America's foremost high-altitude mountaineer. He is familiar to many from the 1996 IMAX Everest Expedition documentary and in 2002, he was awarded the historic Lowell Thomas Award by the Explorer’s Club for outstanding achievement in the field of mountaineering. In winning the award, he joined an elite group of climbers including Sir Edmund Hillary. In 1992 he was awarded the American Alpine Club Sowles Awards for his participation in two rescues on K-2. Ed serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), an organization that instills critical life skills in under-resourced youth through wilderness mentoring experiences that help keep kids in school, reduce violence and drug use.