Magazine article Geographical

Everest: A Reconnaissance

Magazine article Geographical

Everest: A Reconnaissance

Article excerpt

A new exhibition of photographs from the 1921 Everest expedition will be on show in the Society's Pavilion this autumn. The stunning platinum prints are the first to be created from recently digitised silver nitrate negatives stored in the Society's collections.

Taken by George Mallory and other members of the first British reconnaissance expedition to Everest--which included Charles Howard-Bury, Alexander Wollaston and Edward Oliver Wheeler with Abdul Jalil Khan--the photographs are among the first to document the dramatic landscapes and local people of the Himalayas. Although they were originally intended to complement the expedition's purpose of carrying out new and more detailed survey work of the region, the photographs also include images of the sherpas who helped the team ascend the mountain, as well as showing life in camp, and some of the finest panoramas of any high mountain region ever taken.

Attempts to reach the summit of Everest were inspired by John Noel, a British Army captain, who had made it to within 40 miles of the mountain in 1913. In a paper submitted to the Society in 1919 about his Tibetan expedition, Noel was among the first to suggest that Mount Everest should be climbed. Although he was unable to participate in the 1921 expedition due to military duties, Noel advised on the photography that should take place. The photos subsequently taken by Mallory and the rest of the 1921 expedition team went on to aid and inform plans for future attempts to climb the mountain in 1922 and 1924. …

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