90 Years of British Everest Expeditions

90 Years of British Everest Expeditions
United Kingdom

In 1920 the Mount Everest Committee (later called the Joint Himalayan Committee) was set up by the Royal Geographic Society and the Alpine Club to organise and finance a survey expedition to explore possible routes up Mount Everest.  The 1921 Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition, 90 years ago this year, started a renewed interest in mountaineering, and lead directly to a series of British Everest expeditions culminating in the successful 1953 Everest ascent by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary.

The 1921 Reconnaissance Expedition was lead by George Mallory, after Colonel Ashton Rushton's (the initial leader) fell ill.  The expedition's goal was to find a viable route to the summit of Everest from it's northern side.  The northern side was targetted because Nepal, at the time, was closed to all foreigners, barring any southern route attempt.  Sir Charles Bell, a British-Indian tibetologist, and friend of the 13th Dalai Lama, was able to obtain permission from the Tibetan government to approach Everest from it's norther side.

The 1921 Everest Reconnaissance Expedition found a route up the East Rongbuk Glacier, reaching the North Col at 23,030ft (8,020m) before being forced back by bad weather.

In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the first British expedition to Mount Everest in 1921, the Royal Geographic Society presents "The Everest Generation", a major photographic exhibition and fine art sale of 40 limited edition photographic prints chosen across the nine attempts to reach the mountains summit from 1921 to 1953.

A BBC News slideshow of images from the exhibition is available to view.

Venue: The exhibition is held at Hoopers Gallery 15 Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0AA.

Friday 21 October 2011 to Friday 25 November 2011

Open Tuesday to Friday: 11am until 4.30pm. Late night opening: Thursday until 6.30pm. Saturday Opening: 29 October 2011, 11am to 5pm.

Authored by:
Chris O'Grady
October 17, 2011