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Everest 1953: The Epic Story of the First Ascent

Author(s): Conefrey, Mick

Copyright: 2012, UK
Specifications: 1st, 8vo, pp.xiv, 322, 6 color & 8 bw photos, 2 bw illus, map, illus eps, blue cloth
Condition: dj & cloth new

On the morning of 2 June 1953, the day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, the first news ebbed through to the British public of a magnificent achievement: Everest had finally been conquered. Drawing on first-hand interviews and unprecedented access to archives, this is a groundbreaking new account of that extraordinary first ascent. In a thrilling tale of adventure and courage, Conefrey reveals that what has gone down in history as a supremely well-planned attempt was actually beset by crisis and controversy, both on and off the mountain. From funding panics to Sherpa rebellions, hostile press to menacing weather, John Hunt and his team had to draw on unimaginable skill and determination to succeed. An intimate insight into the forgotten personalities behind the ascent - including Eric Shipton, the enigmatic “Mr. Everest”, and Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, who came within 100 metres of being first to the summit - Everest 1953 recounts a bygone age of self-sacrifice and heroism, using letters and personal diaries to reveal the immense stress the climbers often hid from their fellow team members.
Exploring long enduring controversies - did Tenzing or Hillary reach the top first? Why was Eric Shipton sacked as leader? Conefrey offers a fascinating window onto the media’s coverage of the expedition. The Times had an exclusive deal, but other papers used all means necessary to break their monopoly (Ralph Izzard of the Daily Mail even hiked up to base camp alone, only to be met with stony silence and a cup of tea). Charting how the ascent affected the original team in subsequent years and detailing its immense cultural impact today, Everest 1953 is the perfect book to commemorate this remarkable feat of the human will.



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