Even Higher Than Everest: Almond, George
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Even Higher Than Everest

Author(s): Almond, George

Copyright: 2020, US
Specifications: reprint, 8vo, pp.273, wraps
Condition: new

Almond presents a dramatised story of the 1933 first flight over the world’s highest peak. Aiming to inform and entertain a broad readership, the tale follows Garland, a young American journalist, as she acts as PA to a notorious heiress Lucy Houston. On the steam yacht Liberty, Garland’s romances intrigue her employer who agrees to sponsor a team of prestigious aviators and five aircraft. They will fly to India and stay with a Maharaja during their three visits the world’s highest mountains.

Chock-full of colorful aristocrats, pilots, engineers and supernumeraries from the British and Indian elite, the expedition is set up in Mayfair. After tests in the West Country the crews fly to Purnea. Despite many bizarre setbacks, the pilots take their open-cockpit biplanes into dangerous freezing gales over the Himalayas. Everest is conquered by air and an Oscar is awarded to the film for its sheer audacity.

Lucy Houston DBE was the extraordinary woman, a talented dancer and charmer of men, who had the vision and the means to dispatch her own expedition to fly even higher than Everest.

Drawn to stories of an epic nature, Almond was inspired by a chance meeting with Sherpa Tenzing and Lord Hunt, 1953 expedition leader. From them he learned how the aerial photos taken by Lady Houston’s pilots had been studied carefully in their assault planning. This work is his personal outcome of that long distant meeting.

In researching this story, Almond offers gratitude and acknowledgment to the many sources including family members, mountaineers, engineers, and pilots who all provided valuable input about the true events of the flight.

The Houston Mount Everest Expedition was successful because highly experienced men and women were involved. All had survived the horrendous years of the Great War and were by nature, confident, bold and determined in their various roles for the expedition.

With such colourful characters involved, it seemed logical to relate events from different points of view, taking the reader along the many paths that any expedition must follow towards achieving its ultimate goal.

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