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|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (August 2014)|
|Born||Richard Daniel Bass
December 21, 1929
Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||July 26, 2015
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
|Known for||first documented person to climb the "Seven Summits"|
Richard Daniel "Dick" Bass (December 21, 1929 – July 26, 2015) was an American businessman and mountaineer. He was the owner of Snowbird Ski Resort in Utah and the first man to climb the "Seven Summits," the tallest mountain on each continent.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1929, Bass moved with his family to Texas in 1932. After graduating from Highland Park High School, he enrolled at Yale University at 16 and graduated in 1950 with a degree in geology. After completing some graduate work at the University of Texas, Bass served two years with the U.S. Navy on board the aircraft carrier USS Essex during the Korean War. In 1953, he returned to Texas to join in the running of the family oil and gas business and ranching operations.
Business and adventure
During the 1960s, Dick along with his brother Harry invested in the fledgling area that was to become Vail, Colorado. Dick put down the first $10,000 for Vail Corporation and built the largest home in the area. That home on Mill Creek Circle is what helped attract Gerald Ford and his family to the area.
In 1971, Bass opened the Snowbird Ski Resort. He became prominent in the industry due to his self-proclaimed “blanket curiosity, nonstop verbosity and hyper-enthusiasm.”
Together with Frank Wells, one-time president of Walt Disney, Bass conceived of the adventure challenge of summiting each of the seven continents: Denali (Mt. McKinley), North America; Aconcagua, South America; Mt. Elbrus, Europe; Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa; Vinson Massif, Antarctica; Mount Kosciuszko, Australia; and Mt. Everest, Asia.
Bass became the first person to achieve the Seven Summits (the highest point on each continent) on April 30, 1985. At the time, he was also the oldest person to have climbed Mt. Everest. He later co-wrote the book Seven Summits describing his achievement. The ascent has been somewhat controversial; Bass's list puts Mount Kosciuszko as the tallest in Australia, but climber Patrick Morrow has put forward that that the tallest mountain in Oceania (which includes Australia) is instead the more difficult Puncak Jaya.
Jon Krakauer's book Into Thin Air opines that Bass's ascent of Mount Everest pulled the mountain into a "postmodern era" wherein commercial guided expeditions became big business and encouraged climbers with limited experience to pay large sums of money to these enterprises in order to ascend Everest (a situation that Krakauer himself has profited from immensely.) Bass died on July 26, 2015 in Dallas, Texas from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
- List of climbers
- Lists of mountains (for other climbing lists)
- Seven Second Summits
- Volcanic Seven Summits
- Three Poles Challenge
- Explorers Grand Slam, also known as The Adventurers Grand Slam
- List of 20th-century summiters of Mount Everest
- Everest History.com - Dick Bass Bio
- Randy Wyrick, "Vail pioneer Dick Bass dies in Dallas," Vail Daily Vail, Co. accessed on July 27, 2015.
- 7Summits.com, voluminous information within commercial site
- Mount Everest Info One Of The Seven Summits
- 3D Tour of Seven Summits  in Virtual Earth
- Essay on the criteria for the Seven Summits
- Carstensz Pyramid and the Seven Summits