Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921. C. K. Howard-Bury.
Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921
Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921
Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921
Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921
Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921

Mount Everest - The Reconnaissance 1921

London: Edward Arnold & Co., 1922. First edition. Hardcover. This is the first edition of the story of Britain’s first steps towards planning a route to the peak of Mount Everest and a keystone to an Everest-related collection. Condition approaches very good plus. The publisher’s original navy blue cloth binding remains square and tight with rich, unfaded color, no discernible color shift between the covers and spine, and vivid gilt print on the spine and front cover. We note only light wear to the spine ends, hinges, and extremities. The contents are clean, the pages retaining a crisp unread feel. All of the numerous illustrations and maps are present and the three, large, fold-out maps at the end of the volume are folded neatly. Modest spotting is substantially confined to the untrimmed page edges, only occasionally intruding into the blank inner margins. The sole previous ownership mark appears to be the illustrated bookplate of “Sir John Dodd” affixed to the front pastedown. Sir John Samuel Dodd (1904-1973) was a Liberal National Member of Parliament from 1935-1945 and during the Second World War both held the rank of Major in a Tank Regiment and served as Tank Production Advisor to the Ministry of Supply. As the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest captivated and challenged Western explorers from the time it was first surveyed by the British in the mid 19th century. By 1921 expeditions had reached the North and South Poles, charted the origins of the world’s rivers, and mapped the islands of the Pacific; the remaining challenge was the “third pole”, Mount Everest. The Alpine Club in conjunction with the Royal Geographical Society set up the Mount Everest Committee with the purpose of funding a mission to peak, and in April, after extensive diplomatic negotiations (both Tibet and Nepal were then closed to outsiders) an expedition set out. The mission was less about reaching the summit than it was about forging a path for those to follow. The team was equipped to conduct reconnaissance as thoroughly as possible and included experts in a variety of fields - mountaineers, a geologist, surveyors, and a doctor. The journey was arduous; Dr. Kellas, one of the first to experiment with oxygen-assisted climbing, died during the six-week approach. After the health of the party’s mountaineering leader, Harold Raeburn, began to decline, George Leigh Mallory took responsibility for most of the exploration. After four months of collecting data while circling the mountain the party was rewarded with the distinction of being the first Westerners to set foot on Everest. After months of searching various glaciers to find a route to the summit, the reconnaissance expedition achieved success by finding that the tiny East Rongbuk glacier – difficult to even see – was the key route to the North Col, which was likewise key to gaining the summit. The British could only approach from the north/Chinese side of the mountain since Nepal, the side from which Everest was eventually climbed, was closed to foreigners until decades later. Although members of the reconnaissance expedition were forced back after only a few steps up the slopes of the North Col, the expedition resulted in important survey work and the first photographs of Everest from its base (many of which are included in this volume). This reconnaissance work chronicled in this volume paved the way for Mallory’s return with a party for the 1922 Everest mission. It wasn’t until 1953 that a human stood at its summit; only a decade and a half before a man would stand on the moon. Item #004701

Price: $450.00

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