Everest: Summit of Achievement

The Royal Geographic Society

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2003
ISBN 10: 0743243862 / ISBN 13: 9780743243865
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Synopsis: Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first successful ascent of the world's highest mountain, Everest takes readers into the exhilarating world of exploration and expedition from 1910 through today. 400+ photos.

From Publishers Weekly: George Mallory's famous answer to why he was so dedicated to scaling Mt. Everest-"Because it's there"-is as good an answer as any to those wondering why so many people risk life and limb to ascend the world's highest peak. This lavish volume, featuring hundreds of photos and documents from the massive archives at London's Royal Geographical Society, offers a less prosaic reason for all that risk taking. The photos are, almost without exception, utterly breathtaking, finding an almost infinite variety of ways to capture Everest's soaring, snow-covered vastness (often with a string of antlike human climbers scurrying somewhere in the foreground). However, the text between the glorious photos is uneven. Some of the pieces are enlightening, especially those detailing the reactions of Nepalese and Tibetan locals to the people who came tromping into their lands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries simply to scale the mountains (a beyond-foolish endeavor, they thought). The most engaging of these is Ed Douglas's, on how the mountains fit in with the locals' religious lives (the accompanying photos of grim-faced nuns and monks are striking). Descriptions of mountaineering trips, especially that by climber Venables, are competently delivered but less engrossing. The photographs-depicting Mallory's pal Sandy Irvine cheerfully fixing an oxygen cylinder in 1924; Hillary and climbing companion Tenzing Norgay drinking a celebratory cup of tea in 1953; and (more harshly) porters, who earned little more than a dollar a day, staggering with climbers' baggage in 1971-are undoubtedly this volume's strength.
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Title: Everest: Summit of Achievement
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2003
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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