Letters from Everest: A First-hand Account from the Epic First Ascent: Lowe, George
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Letters from Everest: A First-hand Account from the Epic First Ascent

Author(s): Lowe, George

Copyright: 2013, UK
Specifications: Ltd ed #36/60, small 8vo, pp.176, photo frontis, cloth cutting from Lowe’s sleeping bag, 31 bw photos, bw illus, 3 sketches, 2 figs, 3 maps, illus eps, illus grey cloth
Condition: signed Peter Hillary, Huw Lewis-Jones, & Jan Morris, slipcase, issued w/o dj, cloth new

Sixty years after Everest was first climbed, this unique book of letters celebrates, in a very personal way, this most majestic of mountains. With exclusive access to the private archives of pioneering New Zealand climber George Lowe, this is a welcome tribute to an unsung hero. The ascent of Everest in the summer of 1953 was one of the 20th century’s great triumphs of exploration. Lowe’s efforts on the mountain were crucial to the endeavour. He was one of the lead climbers, forging the route up the Lhotse Face without oxygen and later cutting steps for his partners up the summit ridge. In this touching book, a trove of unpublished letters from the Lowe collection are brought together for the first time, to describe the day-by-day moments of this historic expedition as never before. As often as he could, Lowe wrote letters home to his family. In turn, they could then keep their friends updated with news, frequently before the local newspapers had full accounts of the climb. These rare letters from Everest now allow us to travel back in time to join Lowe and his companions every step of the way: a vivid, behind-the-scenes witness of a climb that would make history.

This Limited Edition has a number of features which sets it apart from the Trade Edition. Only 60 copies were produced; due to both the 60th anniversary of the ascent as well as the limited amount of sleeping bag material available. These swatches are affixed to an additional page which features an extra, tipped-in, photo of Lowe taken by Ed Hillary at Base Camp. The book is signed by editor Huw Lewis-Jones and contributors Jan Morris and Peter Hillary on an acetate sheet. The endpaper illustration is by Julian Heaton Cooper, the son of William Heaton Cooper who designed the dust jacket for John Hunt’s ‘The Ascent of Everest’. This is an important addition to the first ascent literature.

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