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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003 Limited Edition Pen Sheaffer Pens, a division of Bic UK Limited, Chaplin House, Widewater Place, Moorhall Road, Harefield, Middlesex UB9 6NS, UK www.sheaffer.com


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Introduction

M

OUNT

EVEREST

stands

veiled

in

freezing cloud, aloof and unattainable to

all but the most determined and strong. For the people who live in the shadow of the mighty summit, she is a goddess; Sagarmatha to the Nepalese, Chomolungma to the Tibetans, Mother of the Universe, Mother of the Snow. The mountain forms a spectacular peak amongst the Himalayas’ 1500 mile crescent-shaped system. The unruly limbs of the mountain range lay claim to territory across Asia from Pakistan through to India, Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Standing at an elevation of 29,035 feet, Everest represents the highest point a man can reach whilst still keeping his feet firmly on the earth.

Hillary’s Sherpa party loaded with supplies en route for Base Camp.

1


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

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Page 3

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Introduction

M

OUNT

EVEREST

stands

veiled

in

freezing cloud, aloof and unattainable to

all but the most determined and strong. For the people who live in the shadow of the mighty summit, she is a goddess; Sagarmatha to the Nepalese, Chomolungma to the Tibetans, Mother of the Universe, Mother of the Snow. The mountain forms a spectacular peak amongst the Himalayas’ 1500 mile crescent-shaped system. The unruly limbs of the mountain range lay claim to territory across Asia from Pakistan through to India, Tibet, Nepal, Sikkim and Bhutan. Standing at an elevation of 29,035 feet, Everest represents the highest point a man can reach whilst still keeping his feet firmly on the earth.

Hillary’s Sherpa party loaded with supplies en route for Base Camp.

1


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Page 5

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

In 1953, as Britain awaited the coronation of its

Trigonometrical Surveys

young princess, Colonel John Hunt lead a team of

It is difficult to conceive the magnitude of a

men on an impossible journey, their brief to reach

scheme to measure the earth’s precise size and

the top of the world. Amongst this group of

shape without modern technology, particularly

skilled and experienced men, all of whom were

the height of a mountain that no man had ever

potential summit men, two men of a very special

climbed. In 1802, Colonel William Lambton set

calibre were to leave a legacy to inspire mankind.

out on a scientific odyssey to measure India’s dips

Both shared a tough hardiness, the grit and

and curves in a project that came to be known as

determination of the age-old adventurer. Where

The Great Arc. It involved a process known as

Hillary possessed the bloody-minded strength of will to climb Mount Everest, Tenzing’s belief in his spiritual destiny lead him like an invisible

triangulation. Hillary, Lowe, Evans and Band lying in a tent listening to the Coronation news, happy on rum.

Three mutually visible high points, forming an

belay to his Sagarmatha, Mother of the Universe.

enormous triangle across sections of the land The news of the conquest of the mightiest mountain broke on the

mass, began the equat-

morning of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Rapturous

ion. The exact distance

celebration erupted amongst the waiting crowds in London. As

between two of the points was measured

envoys of the Commonwealth, of their own nations and of the world itself, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay captured the imaginations of generations to follow.

Index Chart to the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India.

William Lambton (1753/6- 1823) Surveyor General of India.

using a huge chain. The angles of two of the corners of the triangle

could be calculated using an instrument called a theodolite. As a result of these calculations the position of the third point could be found using Elizabeth II becomes the new Queen of England.

2

trigonometry. To measure the shape of India’s entire land mass, these gargantuan triangles

Lambton’s Great Theodolite used by William Lambton and George Everest.

3


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Page 5

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

In 1953, as Britain awaited the coronation of its

Trigonometrical Surveys

young princess, Colonel John Hunt lead a team of

It is difficult to conceive the magnitude of a

men on an impossible journey, their brief to reach

scheme to measure the earth’s precise size and

the top of the world. Amongst this group of

shape without modern technology, particularly

skilled and experienced men, all of whom were

the height of a mountain that no man had ever

potential summit men, two men of a very special

climbed. In 1802, Colonel William Lambton set

calibre were to leave a legacy to inspire mankind.

out on a scientific odyssey to measure India’s dips

Both shared a tough hardiness, the grit and

and curves in a project that came to be known as

determination of the age-old adventurer. Where

The Great Arc. It involved a process known as

Hillary possessed the bloody-minded strength of will to climb Mount Everest, Tenzing’s belief in his spiritual destiny lead him like an invisible

triangulation. Hillary, Lowe, Evans and Band lying in a tent listening to the Coronation news, happy on rum.

Three mutually visible high points, forming an

belay to his Sagarmatha, Mother of the Universe.

enormous triangle across sections of the land The news of the conquest of the mightiest mountain broke on the

mass, began the equat-

morning of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Rapturous

ion. The exact distance

celebration erupted amongst the waiting crowds in London. As

between two of the points was measured

envoys of the Commonwealth, of their own nations and of the world itself, Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay captured the imaginations of generations to follow.

Index Chart to the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India.

William Lambton (1753/6- 1823) Surveyor General of India.

using a huge chain. The angles of two of the corners of the triangle

could be calculated using an instrument called a theodolite. As a result of these calculations the position of the third point could be found using Elizabeth II becomes the new Queen of England.

2

trigonometry. To measure the shape of India’s entire land mass, these gargantuan triangles

Lambton’s Great Theodolite used by William Lambton and George Everest.

3


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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

stretched in an invisible chain across the whole

The mountain’s grand titles were already befitting to the magnificence of the tallest peak in the world.

country; jungles, swamps, mountains and all.

But Waugh, a child of his time, felt strongly that a choice of name for such a significant discovery needed to reflect the mountain’s magnificence and be easily pronounceable to an Englishman. Thus

For Lambton, The Great Arc was an all

Peak XV became Mount Everest, after a man who had inspired Waugh and others with a daring and

consuming passion, and he died, age 70, before

immense undertaking to master the lie of the land.

his task was complete. Lieutenant George Everest took on Lambton’s mantle as Surveyor General

The summit’s inaccessibility heightened Mount Everest’s mystique. In 1920, when the Dalai Lama

with the same ardent fervour. Improving the

finally opened Tibet to foreigners, the Mount Everest Committee was born. Members of the Royal

accuracy of Lambton’s equipment, Everest made

Geographic Society and The Alpine Club hatched enthusiastic plans to launch an assault on

it his life’s work to fulfil his mentor’s bold

uncharted territory. It was a challenge not to be taken lightly, an opportunity to push men beyond

ambition.

their capability.

His

pursuance

of

the

Great

Trigonometrical Survey (as it became known), never faltered, in spite of his Government’s wish for him to concentrate on the more practical, infrastructural mapping of the expanding Empire. Five decades later, Radhanath Sikhdar, Chief Computer of the Topographic Office of Calcutta, using the mathematical groundings put in place by Lambton and Everest, made an exciting discovery. According to popular legend, he rushed into the office of Sir Andrew Waugh, Everest’s successor, with the words: ‘Sir, we have

Sir George Everest.

discovered the highest mountain in the world.’ The story goes on to tell how Sikhdar’s measurements, at exactly 29, 000 feet were deemed too exact, and a couple of feet were added on for credibility!

4

5


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Page 7

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

stretched in an invisible chain across the whole

The mountain’s grand titles were already befitting to the magnificence of the tallest peak in the world.

country; jungles, swamps, mountains and all.

But Waugh, a child of his time, felt strongly that a choice of name for such a significant discovery needed to reflect the mountain’s magnificence and be easily pronounceable to an Englishman. Thus

For Lambton, The Great Arc was an all

Peak XV became Mount Everest, after a man who had inspired Waugh and others with a daring and

consuming passion, and he died, age 70, before

immense undertaking to master the lie of the land.

his task was complete. Lieutenant George Everest took on Lambton’s mantle as Surveyor General

The summit’s inaccessibility heightened Mount Everest’s mystique. In 1920, when the Dalai Lama

with the same ardent fervour. Improving the

finally opened Tibet to foreigners, the Mount Everest Committee was born. Members of the Royal

accuracy of Lambton’s equipment, Everest made

Geographic Society and The Alpine Club hatched enthusiastic plans to launch an assault on

it his life’s work to fulfil his mentor’s bold

uncharted territory. It was a challenge not to be taken lightly, an opportunity to push men beyond

ambition.

their capability.

His

pursuance

of

the

Great

Trigonometrical Survey (as it became known), never faltered, in spite of his Government’s wish for him to concentrate on the more practical, infrastructural mapping of the expanding Empire. Five decades later, Radhanath Sikhdar, Chief Computer of the Topographic Office of Calcutta, using the mathematical groundings put in place by Lambton and Everest, made an exciting discovery. According to popular legend, he rushed into the office of Sir Andrew Waugh, Everest’s successor, with the words: ‘Sir, we have

Sir George Everest.

discovered the highest mountain in the world.’ The story goes on to tell how Sikhdar’s measurements, at exactly 29, 000 feet were deemed too exact, and a couple of feet were added on for credibility!

4

5


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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Llakpa La Pass.

Ten Expeditions The first British reconnaissance mission sponsored by the Mount Everest Committee took place in 1921. It was led by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Howard-Bury. The brief was to examine the

triumph and disaster. Under Brigadier General

Irvine disappeared, last seen ‘going strong for the

C.G. Bruce, members of the team reached 27,300

top’. How far did they get? Possibly the men got

feet up the North Ridge. The tragic deaths of

no further than the First Step along the North

seven Sherpas in an avalanche below the North

Ridge. A 1933 expedition discovered Irvine’s ice

Col blighted this success. These were the first

axe at about 27,700 feet on the upper slopes

fatalities on Everest.

below the First Step. In 1999 Mallory’s body was

effects of high altitude and extreme weather on the human body and gather vital information regarding possible routes to the top along the North Ridge. George Mallory was amongst the team reaching the North Col at 23,000 feet in the first of his four daring attempts to reach the top. The second assault in 1922 was an expedition of

6

found some way below the site of the ice axe at Hungry to reach the summit, ‘Because it’s [was]

26,750 feet. Tenzing and Hillary found no

there’, Mallory was amongst Lieutenant Colonel

evidence of any climber reaching the summit

Edward Norton’s 1924 team, reaching 28,140

before them. The debate as to whether Mallory

feet, this time without oxygen. Again success

and Irvine actually reached the summit continues

came at a heavy price. A few days later, this time

to this day.

Mallory and Irvine leaving North Col for the last climb.

using oxygen, Mallory and his companion Andrew

7


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Page 9

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Llakpa La Pass.

Ten Expeditions The first British reconnaissance mission sponsored by the Mount Everest Committee took place in 1921. It was led by Lieutenant Colonel Charles Howard-Bury. The brief was to examine the

triumph and disaster. Under Brigadier General

Irvine disappeared, last seen ‘going strong for the

C.G. Bruce, members of the team reached 27,300

top’. How far did they get? Possibly the men got

feet up the North Ridge. The tragic deaths of

no further than the First Step along the North

seven Sherpas in an avalanche below the North

Ridge. A 1933 expedition discovered Irvine’s ice

Col blighted this success. These were the first

axe at about 27,700 feet on the upper slopes

fatalities on Everest.

below the First Step. In 1999 Mallory’s body was

effects of high altitude and extreme weather on the human body and gather vital information regarding possible routes to the top along the North Ridge. George Mallory was amongst the team reaching the North Col at 23,000 feet in the first of his four daring attempts to reach the top. The second assault in 1922 was an expedition of

6

found some way below the site of the ice axe at Hungry to reach the summit, ‘Because it’s [was]

26,750 feet. Tenzing and Hillary found no

there’, Mallory was amongst Lieutenant Colonel

evidence of any climber reaching the summit

Edward Norton’s 1924 team, reaching 28,140

before them. The debate as to whether Mallory

feet, this time without oxygen. Again success

and Irvine actually reached the summit continues

came at a heavy price. A few days later, this time

to this day.

Mallory and Irvine leaving North Col for the last climb.

using oxygen, Mallory and his companion Andrew

7


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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Plagued by bad weather, and an early monsoon,

borders meant that the lessons learned in

challenging venture. Hillary in his turn, greatly

the 1933 expedition also proved unsuccessful

previous climbs had to be reassessed. Nepal

admired Shipton.

despite an heroic attempt by Eric Shipton and

opened her frontier to the West, enabling

Frank Smythe. After spending two nights in the

reconnaissance of the Southern side of Everest to

Death Zone without oxygen, they bypassed the

be visited for the first time in 1950. An Anglo-

First Step, with Smythe pushing further across

American party led by Dr Charles Houston with

the Great Couloir before he was forced to turn

Bill Tilman reached the Khumbu Glacier but had

back by dangerous snow conditions.

no time to explore further. 1951,

Shipton’s

vast

The men battled against poor health and difficult weather conditions, but the objective of discovering a possible route via the South Col was achieved in spite of many misgivings, laying much of the groundwork for future expeditions. The summit was within the British grasp at last.

Shipton returned for the fifth British expedition

In

experience

and

All that would be needed for success the

in 1935. The aim was to explore and survey the

reputation for adventure earned him an

following year was a team of men of exceptional

region, investigating the feasibility of a post-

invitation to lead a new British reconnaissance

calibre, the right preparation, particularly in the

monsoon climb. A young porter, Tenzing Norgay

mission, with a small group of young and

design of efficient oxygen equipment, but most

began the first of many trips to the mountain.

enthusiastic men. International competition to

importantly,

the

Nepalese

Government’s

climb Everest was about to begin. The team

permission to begin the assault. It was the latter

Hopes were high for the success of the 1936

turned down a request from the Swiss to include

that caused the impenetrable obstacle.

expedition with the use of lightweight radios for

René Dittert in the post-monsoon exploration,

the first time on the mountain. Tenzing Norgay

but at the last minute the impulsive Shipton

returned amongst the party. The early onset of

agreed to the inclusion of two New Zealanders.

the monsoon again thwarted their success.

After all, he reasoned, New Zealanders were

Likewise, extreme weather conditions put paid to

renowned as ice men, and with their country

the seventh British expedition of 1938.

being a former colony, they were almost British!

After the Second World War, Everest zeal took

It turned out to be an excellent decision. Shipton

could only wait and rather ungraciously hope for

hold with renewed vigour with The Alpine Club

got on particularly well with the young New

the Swiss expedition to fail.

and the Royal Geographical Society forming the

Zealand beekeeper, Edmund Hillary. He had the

Joint Himalayan Committee in 1947. But

right mixture of toughness and hungry optimism

political sensitivity causing Tibet to close her

that was needed for such a risky and physically

8

As keen as the British were to reach the summit first, the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research sought and were granted permission for a 1952 climb

whilst

Shipton’s

men

were

in

reconnaissance. Shipton generously shared his

A team member crossing a small crevasse using an ice-axe for balance.

information and photographs. The British team

9


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Page 11

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Plagued by bad weather, and an early monsoon,

borders meant that the lessons learned in

challenging venture. Hillary in his turn, greatly

the 1933 expedition also proved unsuccessful

previous climbs had to be reassessed. Nepal

admired Shipton.

despite an heroic attempt by Eric Shipton and

opened her frontier to the West, enabling

Frank Smythe. After spending two nights in the

reconnaissance of the Southern side of Everest to

Death Zone without oxygen, they bypassed the

be visited for the first time in 1950. An Anglo-

First Step, with Smythe pushing further across

American party led by Dr Charles Houston with

the Great Couloir before he was forced to turn

Bill Tilman reached the Khumbu Glacier but had

back by dangerous snow conditions.

no time to explore further. 1951,

Shipton’s

vast

The men battled against poor health and difficult weather conditions, but the objective of discovering a possible route via the South Col was achieved in spite of many misgivings, laying much of the groundwork for future expeditions. The summit was within the British grasp at last.

Shipton returned for the fifth British expedition

In

experience

and

All that would be needed for success the

in 1935. The aim was to explore and survey the

reputation for adventure earned him an

following year was a team of men of exceptional

region, investigating the feasibility of a post-

invitation to lead a new British reconnaissance

calibre, the right preparation, particularly in the

monsoon climb. A young porter, Tenzing Norgay

mission, with a small group of young and

design of efficient oxygen equipment, but most

began the first of many trips to the mountain.

enthusiastic men. International competition to

importantly,

the

Nepalese

Government’s

climb Everest was about to begin. The team

permission to begin the assault. It was the latter

Hopes were high for the success of the 1936

turned down a request from the Swiss to include

that caused the impenetrable obstacle.

expedition with the use of lightweight radios for

René Dittert in the post-monsoon exploration,

the first time on the mountain. Tenzing Norgay

but at the last minute the impulsive Shipton

returned amongst the party. The early onset of

agreed to the inclusion of two New Zealanders.

the monsoon again thwarted their success.

After all, he reasoned, New Zealanders were

Likewise, extreme weather conditions put paid to

renowned as ice men, and with their country

the seventh British expedition of 1938.

being a former colony, they were almost British!

After the Second World War, Everest zeal took

It turned out to be an excellent decision. Shipton

could only wait and rather ungraciously hope for

hold with renewed vigour with The Alpine Club

got on particularly well with the young New

the Swiss expedition to fail.

and the Royal Geographical Society forming the

Zealand beekeeper, Edmund Hillary. He had the

Joint Himalayan Committee in 1947. But

right mixture of toughness and hungry optimism

political sensitivity causing Tibet to close her

that was needed for such a risky and physically

8

As keen as the British were to reach the summit first, the Swiss Foundation for Alpine Research sought and were granted permission for a 1952 climb

whilst

Shipton’s

men

were

in

reconnaissance. Shipton generously shared his

A team member crossing a small crevasse using an ice-axe for balance.

information and photographs. The British team

9


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Page 13

28,126 feet in 1924 on the other side of the mountain, before they were forced to turn back. Being so close, the Swiss made a second attempt

George Band Tom Stobart

Michael Ward

that year, joined once again by Tenzing as Sirdar. Rather than sticking to the route up the Geneva

Wilfrid Noyce

Spur, this time they also tackled the Lhotse Face but falling ice claimed the life of Sherpa Mingma

George Lowe

Dorje. The Swiss managed to established a camp on the South Col, but gales and freezing temperatures put an end to their chances that year.

The 1953 Expedition...

The successful 1953 Epedition Team.

Colonel John Hunt was given the task of preparing the British expedition for 1953. Failure The plucky former porter, Tenzing Norgay, had impressed the Swiss on previous Himalayan expeditions, and in 1952 was appointed Sirdar, as leader of the Sherpa team. Although the two Swiss attempts proved unsuccessful, they must have given him the confidence to see himself as a serious contender for the ultimate prize. He and the Swiss guide, Raymond Lambert formed a close friendship after a frightening episode on the

was not an option. Internationally, the race to the

Griffith Pugh

Charles Wylie

top of the world’s highest point was now more than a matter of honour. If Britain did not succeed this time, another country undoubtedly

Edmund Hillary

Charles Evans

would. It was a magnificent prize to present to a new Queen, at the start of this, a new era, where men could overcome the greatest of obstacles and represent to their countrymen a symbol of

Tenzing Norgay

Tom Bourdillon

renewed optimism and hope.

South East Ridge, spending a night in freezing conditions without sleeping bags or a stove. They reached an estimated altitude of 28, 210 feet, just a little more than Norton’s record height of

10

Alf Gregory

John Hunt Michael Westmacott


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Page 13

28,126 feet in 1924 on the other side of the mountain, before they were forced to turn back. Being so close, the Swiss made a second attempt

George Band Tom Stobart

Michael Ward

that year, joined once again by Tenzing as Sirdar. Rather than sticking to the route up the Geneva

Wilfrid Noyce

Spur, this time they also tackled the Lhotse Face but falling ice claimed the life of Sherpa Mingma

George Lowe

Dorje. The Swiss managed to established a camp on the South Col, but gales and freezing temperatures put an end to their chances that year.

The 1953 Expedition...

The successful 1953 Epedition Team.

Colonel John Hunt was given the task of preparing the British expedition for 1953. Failure The plucky former porter, Tenzing Norgay, had impressed the Swiss on previous Himalayan expeditions, and in 1952 was appointed Sirdar, as leader of the Sherpa team. Although the two Swiss attempts proved unsuccessful, they must have given him the confidence to see himself as a serious contender for the ultimate prize. He and the Swiss guide, Raymond Lambert formed a close friendship after a frightening episode on the

was not an option. Internationally, the race to the

Griffith Pugh

Charles Wylie

top of the world’s highest point was now more than a matter of honour. If Britain did not succeed this time, another country undoubtedly

Edmund Hillary

Charles Evans

would. It was a magnificent prize to present to a new Queen, at the start of this, a new era, where men could overcome the greatest of obstacles and represent to their countrymen a symbol of

Tenzing Norgay

Tom Bourdillon

renewed optimism and hope.

South East Ridge, spending a night in freezing conditions without sleeping bags or a stove. They reached an estimated altitude of 28, 210 feet, just a little more than Norton’s record height of

10

Alf Gregory

John Hunt Michael Westmacott


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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

upwards towards the South Summit. The rest of the team, now either at Advance Base in the Western Cwm or in support on the South Col, waited with racing hearts. Bourdillon and Evans were the ones who knew how to operate the newly developed, powerful, closed circuit oxygen equipment. They were so close. Surely they would succeed. At last, as the cloud shifted, they were spotted, slipping and tumbling down the icy gully from the south-east Ridge. Covered in snow and ice and totally exhausted, Bourdillon’s and Evans’ courageous attempt was over. In being the first to reach the South Summit of Everest, they had climbed higher than man had ever been before, but problems with Evans’ oxygen set had Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Chukhung.

From autobiographical accounts it seems that both Tenzing and Hillary felt in their hearts that

forced them to turn back. Now, utterly weary, it was essential to get them down to safer levels. Deafening winds carried a fury of biting snow on

Detail of Open and Closed Circuit Oxygen Equipment.

men. John Hunt, who with Sherpa Da Namgyal, had struggled up to 27,350 feet carrying gear for the

the morning of May 27 . Sherpa Ang Temba had

final camp, was too exhausted to go higher. Only later did he discover that ice had been restricting the

been nauseated throughout the night and would

flow of life-giving oxygen to his face mask. It was with a mixture of guilt and relief that Hillary and Low

be accompanying Bourdillon and Evans down.

watched him leave the mountain with the others, whilst they prepared for the next day’s assault.

The two New Zealanders, Edmund Hillary and

After a night of battering icy winds, the team, now reduced to five men, including only one carrying

George Lowe, marvelled that they still felt so fit

Sherpa, split up. George Lowe, Alf Gregory and Ang Nyima shouldered their loads and set off towards

On May 26th, the party watched as team mates

without oxygen at 26,000 feet. High altitude and

the south-east Ridge. Hillary and Tenzing following later in their tracks to conserve strength and energy,

Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, chosen for the

the biggest mountain climbing prize of all would

gradually caught up the others as they reached the crest of the Ridge. It must have felt good at this point

first assault, disappeared amongst the cloud ever

distort the judgement of the most practical of

to look down on the tiny Advanced Base Camp thousands of feet below in the Western Cwm, but still

they were destined to be the first, such was the nature of their shared determination, but in reality, nothing, not least the success of the expedition was taken for granted.

12

th

13


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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

upwards towards the South Summit. The rest of the team, now either at Advance Base in the Western Cwm or in support on the South Col, waited with racing hearts. Bourdillon and Evans were the ones who knew how to operate the newly developed, powerful, closed circuit oxygen equipment. They were so close. Surely they would succeed. At last, as the cloud shifted, they were spotted, slipping and tumbling down the icy gully from the south-east Ridge. Covered in snow and ice and totally exhausted, Bourdillon’s and Evans’ courageous attempt was over. In being the first to reach the South Summit of Everest, they had climbed higher than man had ever been before, but problems with Evans’ oxygen set had Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Chukhung.

From autobiographical accounts it seems that both Tenzing and Hillary felt in their hearts that

forced them to turn back. Now, utterly weary, it was essential to get them down to safer levels. Deafening winds carried a fury of biting snow on

Detail of Open and Closed Circuit Oxygen Equipment.

men. John Hunt, who with Sherpa Da Namgyal, had struggled up to 27,350 feet carrying gear for the

the morning of May 27 . Sherpa Ang Temba had

final camp, was too exhausted to go higher. Only later did he discover that ice had been restricting the

been nauseated throughout the night and would

flow of life-giving oxygen to his face mask. It was with a mixture of guilt and relief that Hillary and Low

be accompanying Bourdillon and Evans down.

watched him leave the mountain with the others, whilst they prepared for the next day’s assault.

The two New Zealanders, Edmund Hillary and

After a night of battering icy winds, the team, now reduced to five men, including only one carrying

George Lowe, marvelled that they still felt so fit

Sherpa, split up. George Lowe, Alf Gregory and Ang Nyima shouldered their loads and set off towards

On May 26th, the party watched as team mates

without oxygen at 26,000 feet. High altitude and

the south-east Ridge. Hillary and Tenzing following later in their tracks to conserve strength and energy,

Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans, chosen for the

the biggest mountain climbing prize of all would

gradually caught up the others as they reached the crest of the Ridge. It must have felt good at this point

first assault, disappeared amongst the cloud ever

distort the judgement of the most practical of

to look down on the tiny Advanced Base Camp thousands of feet below in the Western Cwm, but still

they were destined to be the first, such was the nature of their shared determination, but in reality, nothing, not least the success of the expedition was taken for granted.

12

th

13


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Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

the mighty summit of the Lhotse opposite was

Alf Gregory, George

The slope to the South Summit stretched steeply

higher than they were, a silent reminder that

Lowe and Ang Nyima

upwards for another 400 feet. They changed lead

there was still a long way to go.

descended

Nothing

was

finite.

Tenzing,

who

had

accompanied Raymond Lambert the year before, knew this all too well. The abandoned tent from the 1952 Swiss expedition – tattered yellow

Hillary putting on his specially designed high altitude boot.

14

frequently on this very trying section. A treacherously thin layer of ice skimmed the deep

Col, and Hillary and

pit of snow beneath. With a thudding heart,

Tenzing were now left

Hillary heard a sudden dull crack, as a man sized

to fend for themselves.

wedge of ice beneath him shattered. With no

left

shreds over a bare skeleton – spoke of broken

After a night sleeping

dreams. As the team passed it, they might also

in

have wondered how far Mallory and Irvine had

precariously anchored

got. Would they themselves reach the top and

to the slope, a distant glimpse of Thyangboche

find signs that someone had got there before

Monastery in the early morning light seemed like

them? Would they survive the descent to speak of

a protective omen.

what they had seen? Bodies aching, joints Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay preparing oxygen equipment at the Advanced Base Camp before their assault on Everest.

to

return to the South

painfully numb with cold, they must have struggled to find the will that drove them onwards and upwards.

their

tiny

tent

Top of Chorten Thangboche monastry.

time to contemplate inevitability, he felt himself slip backwards. The huge ice shard careered with terrifying speed out of sight. Thankfully, Hillary was able to stop himself from falling along with it. What else was there to do, but quietly push on?

At 6.30 am, they were away, Tenzing kicking a deep line of steps up to where the crest forms a distinctive snow bump at about 28,000 feet. The South Summit towered above them, and to the

At 27,350 feet, they came across the dump of

right, heavy cornices hung over the Kangshung

supplies that would make the rest of the journey

Face, glaring down like menacing gargoyles.

possible but had cost John Hunt his last reserves

Avoiding the sharp, narrow ridge, the men kept

of strength in his and Da Namgyal’s efforts to get

left only to come across another of Mother

them this far. In already physically challenging

Nature’s sly obstacles, breakable crust, which

circumstances, the five men divided the extra

slowed the heavier Hillary down, holding his

weight of some 60 lbs between them before

weight on the surface momentarily, before

pushing on a further 550 feet to establish the

pulling him down knee deep into the powdery

highest ever Camp at 27,900 feet, from where

snow and knocking him off balance.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay approaching the South East ridge at 27,300 feet.

15


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Page 17

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

the mighty summit of the Lhotse opposite was

Alf Gregory, George

The slope to the South Summit stretched steeply

higher than they were, a silent reminder that

Lowe and Ang Nyima

upwards for another 400 feet. They changed lead

there was still a long way to go.

descended

Nothing

was

finite.

Tenzing,

who

had

accompanied Raymond Lambert the year before, knew this all too well. The abandoned tent from the 1952 Swiss expedition – tattered yellow

Hillary putting on his specially designed high altitude boot.

14

frequently on this very trying section. A treacherously thin layer of ice skimmed the deep

Col, and Hillary and

pit of snow beneath. With a thudding heart,

Tenzing were now left

Hillary heard a sudden dull crack, as a man sized

to fend for themselves.

wedge of ice beneath him shattered. With no

left

shreds over a bare skeleton – spoke of broken

After a night sleeping

dreams. As the team passed it, they might also

in

have wondered how far Mallory and Irvine had

precariously anchored

got. Would they themselves reach the top and

to the slope, a distant glimpse of Thyangboche

find signs that someone had got there before

Monastery in the early morning light seemed like

them? Would they survive the descent to speak of

a protective omen.

what they had seen? Bodies aching, joints Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay preparing oxygen equipment at the Advanced Base Camp before their assault on Everest.

to

return to the South

painfully numb with cold, they must have struggled to find the will that drove them onwards and upwards.

their

tiny

tent

Top of Chorten Thangboche monastry.

time to contemplate inevitability, he felt himself slip backwards. The huge ice shard careered with terrifying speed out of sight. Thankfully, Hillary was able to stop himself from falling along with it. What else was there to do, but quietly push on?

At 6.30 am, they were away, Tenzing kicking a deep line of steps up to where the crest forms a distinctive snow bump at about 28,000 feet. The South Summit towered above them, and to the

At 27,350 feet, they came across the dump of

right, heavy cornices hung over the Kangshung

supplies that would make the rest of the journey

Face, glaring down like menacing gargoyles.

possible but had cost John Hunt his last reserves

Avoiding the sharp, narrow ridge, the men kept

of strength in his and Da Namgyal’s efforts to get

left only to come across another of Mother

them this far. In already physically challenging

Nature’s sly obstacles, breakable crust, which

circumstances, the five men divided the extra

slowed the heavier Hillary down, holding his

weight of some 60 lbs between them before

weight on the surface momentarily, before

pushing on a further 550 feet to establish the

pulling him down knee deep into the powdery

highest ever Camp at 27,900 feet, from where

snow and knocking him off balance.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay approaching the South East ridge at 27,300 feet.

15


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Page 19

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

ridge leading up to the summit. They were there, 11.30 am, 29th May 1953. Where they stood, Tenzing described the view below him as ‘part of the world as a giant map’. Tibet stretched out into the distance, flat and barren and the mighty Himalayas seemed now to Tenzing ‘only like little bumps’. On the small cone of snow surrounded by nothing but a terrifying expanse of air, the two men embraced. They were standing above all of humanity. They and only they had reached the top of the world.

View from the summit looking west showing Pumori, Cho Oyo, Lingtren and the West Rongbuk Glacier.

At 9 am they reached the South Summit, where only Bourdillon and Evans had been before them. The final knife-edge ridge to the main summit looked as challenging as could be imagined, but they had come too far to give room to pessimism. They began by cutting a trail of steps on the left side a little down from the crest, just above where the snow merged with the rock. At 29,000 feet, a forty foot rock step posed difficulties. A narrow crack between the rock and an ice cornice clinging to it, overhung the Kangshung Face. There was just enough room for Hillary to wriggle into the gap and work

“I looked at Tenzing and inspite of the balaclava, goggles and oxygen mask all encrusted with long icicles that concealed his face, there was no disguising his infectious grin of pure delight as he looked around him. We shook hands and then Tenzing through his arm around my shoulders and thumped each other on the back until we were almost breathless” Edmund Hillary, 29th May 1953, on the summit.

his way up, grasping at every handhold and panting for breath. When he made it, safe, but exhausted, Tenzing followed, tackling the obstacle that later became known as the Hillary Step. The ridge continued as before. Cutting step after step, it was becoming a grim struggle. How much longer could they keep on going? Finally there was no more mountain to climb, just a narrow snow

16

Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest.

17


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

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Page 19

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

ridge leading up to the summit. They were there, 11.30 am, 29th May 1953. Where they stood, Tenzing described the view below him as ‘part of the world as a giant map’. Tibet stretched out into the distance, flat and barren and the mighty Himalayas seemed now to Tenzing ‘only like little bumps’. On the small cone of snow surrounded by nothing but a terrifying expanse of air, the two men embraced. They were standing above all of humanity. They and only they had reached the top of the world.

View from the summit looking west showing Pumori, Cho Oyo, Lingtren and the West Rongbuk Glacier.

At 9 am they reached the South Summit, where only Bourdillon and Evans had been before them. The final knife-edge ridge to the main summit looked as challenging as could be imagined, but they had come too far to give room to pessimism. They began by cutting a trail of steps on the left side a little down from the crest, just above where the snow merged with the rock. At 29,000 feet, a forty foot rock step posed difficulties. A narrow crack between the rock and an ice cornice clinging to it, overhung the Kangshung Face. There was just enough room for Hillary to wriggle into the gap and work

“I looked at Tenzing and inspite of the balaclava, goggles and oxygen mask all encrusted with long icicles that concealed his face, there was no disguising his infectious grin of pure delight as he looked around him. We shook hands and then Tenzing through his arm around my shoulders and thumped each other on the back until we were almost breathless” Edmund Hillary, 29th May 1953, on the summit.

his way up, grasping at every handhold and panting for breath. When he made it, safe, but exhausted, Tenzing followed, tackling the obstacle that later became known as the Hillary Step. The ridge continued as before. Cutting step after step, it was becoming a grim struggle. How much longer could they keep on going? Finally there was no more mountain to climb, just a narrow snow

16

Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest.

17


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

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Page 21

Hillary and Tenzing at Camp IV after their ascent of Everest.

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary drink tea in the Western Cwm after their successful ascent of Mount Everest.

They left their mark on the mountain; the national flags, offerings to Buddhist deities, a crucifix that John Hunt had promised a priest he would take; symbolic gifts to Sagarmatha of thanks and celebration. They left their mark on the hearts of the people of so many nations waiting to celebrate their awesome achievement and on the hopes and dreams of the men and Taken at 12.45pm this image shows the footmarks of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary coming down the summit ridge of Everest.

women that were made in a similar adventureseeking mould. But most important of all, in spite of the way their lives were to change, they both retained a special humility, a need to give something back in return for the great gift that they had been chosen to receive, leaving in place a different kind of legacy.

18

19


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

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Page 21

Hillary and Tenzing at Camp IV after their ascent of Everest.

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary drink tea in the Western Cwm after their successful ascent of Mount Everest.

They left their mark on the mountain; the national flags, offerings to Buddhist deities, a crucifix that John Hunt had promised a priest he would take; symbolic gifts to Sagarmatha of thanks and celebration. They left their mark on the hearts of the people of so many nations waiting to celebrate their awesome achievement and on the hopes and dreams of the men and Taken at 12.45pm this image shows the footmarks of Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary coming down the summit ridge of Everest.

women that were made in a similar adventureseeking mould. But most important of all, in spite of the way their lives were to change, they both retained a special humility, a need to give something back in return for the great gift that they had been chosen to receive, leaving in place a different kind of legacy.

18

19


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

13/3/03

5:32 pm

Page 23

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Further achievements

Team members return to Camp IV after the ascent. (l to r) Evans, Hillary, Tenzing, Bourdillon and Band.

Some devise new ways to repeat the ascent and

claimed the record for the greatest number of

experience, too, that thrill of being the very first.

ascents, all without oxygen, but up to May 2002

Even an armchair traveller can empathise with

Japanese woman, Junko Tabei, became the first

Apa Sherpa has now made twelve ascents, mostly

the lure of being the first to discover uncharted

female to reach the summit in 1975. The first

without oxygen. It was important that one of

land. It is possible that the success of the human

ascent

their own should be amongst the very first to

race is based on our instinctive drive to invent,

completed by Peter Habeler and Reinhold

discover and explore. But who can explain

Messner in 1978. Then Messner became the first

Everest’s continual lure to men, even after it had

solo climber to reach the summit without oxygen

The 1953 Expedition provided the template for

been, as Ed Hillary put it in May 1953, “knocked

in 1980. Everest’s oldest climber, at 64 years-old

the first ascents of the majority of the remaining

off”?

was Sherman Bull in May 2001, whilst the

8000 metre peaks through the next decade.

Apart from the bleak, unfriendly face of rock

youngest British climber, Edward Grylls, after

Today Everest has been climbed by all its

and ice and the extreme weather conditions,

falling 3000 feet through ice and knocking

formidable ridges and all of its great faces – by

oxygen starved brains and bodies belonging to

himself unconscious, finally reached the summit

some 15 different routes. It has been ascended

even the toughest adventurer will struggle at

aged 23 in 1998. In the same year, an American,

without supplementary oxygen, it has been

altitude. Breathing becomes difficult. The

Tom Whittaker, bent by equal measures of the

soloed, and descended by parapente, ski and

climber may also experience headache, dizziness

same kind of grit, finally reached his goal after

snowboard.

and nausea. Reduced oxygen to the blood vessels

three previously unsuccessful attempts. What

and tissues slows the body down and affects

made him so special? He had taken on the

coordination. Fluid may build up in the brain

physically gruelling, body pounding climb

and lungs. Symptoms range from uncomfortable

wearing a prosthetic leg.

to fatal.

20

without

oxygen

was

successfully

look down on the world from the summit.

Taking a legacy left to them by their fathers, Jamling Tenzing and Peter Hillary, sons of the great adventurers, climbed Everest in May 2002, as did Tenzing’s grandson Tashi together

And amongst these achievements, the Sherpas,

with Yves, son of Raymond Lambert, on separate

But still, men young and old, driven by an

born with the toughness of body and mind to

expeditions with films due to be released this

indefinable spirit to push themselves to the very

tackle nature and the elements, quietly share in

year to mark the 50th Anniversary. But the

limit of human endeavour, aspire to follow in the

this, the ultimate of achievements, making up 1/4

original ascent remains a classic story of

footsteps of two brave men who fired a collective

of the total ascents of Everest. Ang Rita Sherpa,

exploration in reaching out to achieve the highest

imagination.

making a total of ten climbs from 1983-1996,

point in the world.

21


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

13/3/03

5:32 pm

Page 23

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

Further achievements

Team members return to Camp IV after the ascent. (l to r) Evans, Hillary, Tenzing, Bourdillon and Band.

Some devise new ways to repeat the ascent and

claimed the record for the greatest number of

experience, too, that thrill of being the very first.

ascents, all without oxygen, but up to May 2002

Even an armchair traveller can empathise with

Japanese woman, Junko Tabei, became the first

Apa Sherpa has now made twelve ascents, mostly

the lure of being the first to discover uncharted

female to reach the summit in 1975. The first

without oxygen. It was important that one of

land. It is possible that the success of the human

ascent

their own should be amongst the very first to

race is based on our instinctive drive to invent,

completed by Peter Habeler and Reinhold

discover and explore. But who can explain

Messner in 1978. Then Messner became the first

Everest’s continual lure to men, even after it had

solo climber to reach the summit without oxygen

The 1953 Expedition provided the template for

been, as Ed Hillary put it in May 1953, “knocked

in 1980. Everest’s oldest climber, at 64 years-old

the first ascents of the majority of the remaining

off”?

was Sherman Bull in May 2001, whilst the

8000 metre peaks through the next decade.

Apart from the bleak, unfriendly face of rock

youngest British climber, Edward Grylls, after

Today Everest has been climbed by all its

and ice and the extreme weather conditions,

falling 3000 feet through ice and knocking

formidable ridges and all of its great faces – by

oxygen starved brains and bodies belonging to

himself unconscious, finally reached the summit

some 15 different routes. It has been ascended

even the toughest adventurer will struggle at

aged 23 in 1998. In the same year, an American,

without supplementary oxygen, it has been

altitude. Breathing becomes difficult. The

Tom Whittaker, bent by equal measures of the

soloed, and descended by parapente, ski and

climber may also experience headache, dizziness

same kind of grit, finally reached his goal after

snowboard.

and nausea. Reduced oxygen to the blood vessels

three previously unsuccessful attempts. What

and tissues slows the body down and affects

made him so special? He had taken on the

coordination. Fluid may build up in the brain

physically gruelling, body pounding climb

and lungs. Symptoms range from uncomfortable

wearing a prosthetic leg.

to fatal.

20

without

oxygen

was

successfully

look down on the world from the summit.

Taking a legacy left to them by their fathers, Jamling Tenzing and Peter Hillary, sons of the great adventurers, climbed Everest in May 2002, as did Tenzing’s grandson Tashi together

And amongst these achievements, the Sherpas,

with Yves, son of Raymond Lambert, on separate

But still, men young and old, driven by an

born with the toughness of body and mind to

expeditions with films due to be released this

indefinable spirit to push themselves to the very

tackle nature and the elements, quietly share in

year to mark the 50th Anniversary. But the

limit of human endeavour, aspire to follow in the

this, the ultimate of achievements, making up 1/4

original ascent remains a classic story of

footsteps of two brave men who fired a collective

of the total ascents of Everest. Ang Rita Sherpa,

exploration in reaching out to achieve the highest

imagination.

making a total of ten climbs from 1983-1996,

point in the world.

21


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

13/3/03

5:33 pm

Page 25

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

The Mount Everest Foundation

Involving himself in projects to build bridges,

spirit and adventure of the Mount Everest

airfields, schools and hospitals in Nepal, in

Foundation alive as a donation will be made

The royalties and income from

response to petitions from the Sherpas, Hillary

by Sheaffer from the proceeds of the sales of

the books, lectures and film of

too has dedicated his life to improving the lot of

these pens.

the successful 1953 Expedition

Tenzing’s people. And adventures? Jetboating up

lead to an imaginative and

the Ganges, leading a team of tractors to the

farsighted

South Pole, it seems there will always be

initiative

in

the

creation of the Mount Everest

adventures.

Foundation, a UK based charity, with the aim of encouraging exploration and science in the world’s mountain regions. Between

Legacy Pen

1954 and 2002, with minimal administrative

Looking beyond the two courageous men that

Sheaffer embraced the challenge to produce a

costs, grants and approval have been given to over

first climbed Everest, the story of this mountain

commemorative pen set that would celebrate the

1400 expeditions. All projects must conform to

contains a multitude of different heroes with an

essence of The Everest Legacy. This precision

strict environmental criteria, and the Foundation

equally audacious spirit of discovery.

instrument is finished in brushed 23 carat Gold

is keen to attract additional funds.

More adventures Tenzing died in 1986. From humble beginnings, he achieved an awesome dream. Throughout his life he remained unfazed by meetings with world

Electroplate, and provides the writer with Today we are still in awe of the men who were the first to reach the highest summit in the world. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first successful climb of Mount Everest, Sheaffer is proud to commemorate the legacy of this great human endeavour with the Limited Edition Legacy pen.

supreme writing control and comfort, as each pen has a hand rolled 18 carat gold inlaid nib. Each barrel has an inscription, an eternal tribute to a remarkable example of human bravery and achievement. This incorporates the Nepalese name for the mountain, Sagarmatha. Recreated in Nepalese Hindi script, the flow of these

base, and Legacy converter, and comes with a

Sherpa people. With a remit from President

By purchasing this Sheaffer Legacy pen you have

characters reflects the poetry of the language of

certificate of authenticity signed by Sir Chris

Nehru to ‘train a thousand Tenzings’, he helped

acquired a product that will give you a lifetime of

an ancient and mystical people. This pen is

Bonington. Sheaffer

to set up the Himalayan Mountaineering

writing pleasure. However, you should also be

presented in a polished beechwood box,

becoming the owner of one of only 2003 pens of

Institute in Darjeeling.

proud that you have contributed to keeping the

alongside a cut glass ink bottle with a star-cut

its kind.

leaders and media attention as ambassador of the

22

congratulates

you

in

23


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

13/3/03

5:33 pm

Page 25

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003

The Mount Everest Foundation

Involving himself in projects to build bridges,

spirit and adventure of the Mount Everest

airfields, schools and hospitals in Nepal, in

Foundation alive as a donation will be made

The royalties and income from

response to petitions from the Sherpas, Hillary

by Sheaffer from the proceeds of the sales of

the books, lectures and film of

too has dedicated his life to improving the lot of

these pens.

the successful 1953 Expedition

Tenzing’s people. And adventures? Jetboating up

lead to an imaginative and

the Ganges, leading a team of tractors to the

farsighted

South Pole, it seems there will always be

initiative

in

the

creation of the Mount Everest

adventures.

Foundation, a UK based charity, with the aim of encouraging exploration and science in the world’s mountain regions. Between

Legacy Pen

1954 and 2002, with minimal administrative

Looking beyond the two courageous men that

Sheaffer embraced the challenge to produce a

costs, grants and approval have been given to over

first climbed Everest, the story of this mountain

commemorative pen set that would celebrate the

1400 expeditions. All projects must conform to

contains a multitude of different heroes with an

essence of The Everest Legacy. This precision

strict environmental criteria, and the Foundation

equally audacious spirit of discovery.

instrument is finished in brushed 23 carat Gold

is keen to attract additional funds.

More adventures Tenzing died in 1986. From humble beginnings, he achieved an awesome dream. Throughout his life he remained unfazed by meetings with world

Electroplate, and provides the writer with Today we are still in awe of the men who were the first to reach the highest summit in the world. Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the first successful climb of Mount Everest, Sheaffer is proud to commemorate the legacy of this great human endeavour with the Limited Edition Legacy pen.

supreme writing control and comfort, as each pen has a hand rolled 18 carat gold inlaid nib. Each barrel has an inscription, an eternal tribute to a remarkable example of human bravery and achievement. This incorporates the Nepalese name for the mountain, Sagarmatha. Recreated in Nepalese Hindi script, the flow of these

base, and Legacy converter, and comes with a

Sherpa people. With a remit from President

By purchasing this Sheaffer Legacy pen you have

characters reflects the poetry of the language of

certificate of authenticity signed by Sir Chris

Nehru to ‘train a thousand Tenzings’, he helped

acquired a product that will give you a lifetime of

an ancient and mystical people. This pen is

Bonington. Sheaffer

to set up the Himalayan Mountaineering

writing pleasure. However, you should also be

presented in a polished beechwood box,

becoming the owner of one of only 2003 pens of

Institute in Darjeeling.

proud that you have contributed to keeping the

alongside a cut glass ink bottle with a star-cut

its kind.

leaders and media attention as ambassador of the

22

congratulates

you

in

23


AC2917 Everest Booklet [FINAL]

13/3/03

5:32 pm

Page 1

Mount Everest 1953 - 2003 Limited Edition Pen Sheaffer Pens, a division of Bic UK Limited, Chaplin House, Widewater Place, Moorhall Road, Harefield, Middlesex UB9 6NS, UK www.sheaffer.com

Mount Everest  

24pp booklet to accompany a Limited Edition Pen set by Sheaffer in 2003. Catalogues the historical journey en route to the summit of Mount E...

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