1922 British Mount Everest expedition

The 1922 British Mount Everest expedition was the first mountaineering expedition with the express aim of making the first ascent of Mount Everest. This was also the first expedition that attempted to climb Everest using bottled oxygen. The expedition would attempt to climb Everest from the northern side out of Tibet. At the time, Everest could not be attempted from the south out of Nepal as the country was closed to Western foreigners.

The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition had seen the whole eastern and northern surroundings of the mountain. In searching for the easiest route, George Mallory, who was also a participant of the 1924 expedition (and the only person on all three expeditions in 1921, 1922 and 1924), had discovered a route which, according to his opinion, would allow an attempt on the summit.

After two unsuccessful summit attempts the expedition ended on the third attempt when seven porters died as the result of a group-induced avalanche. Not only had the expedition failed to reach the summit but it also marked the first reported climbing deaths on Mount Everest. The expedition did however establish a new world record climbing height of 8,326 metres (27,320 ft) during their second summit attempt, which was subsequently exceeded in the 1924 expedition.

Mount Everest North Face
North face of Mount Everest
1922 Everest expedition at Base Camp
Expedition at Base Camp.
Back row: Morshead, G Bruce, Noel, Wakefield, Somervell, Morris, Norton
Front row: Mallory, Finch, Longstaff, General C  Bruce, Strutt, Crawford


Tibetan passport issued to 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition
Passport issued to first Everest Expedition, 1921. Museum of the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling

The attempted ascent was – notwithstanding other aims – an expression of the pioneering thinking that was common in the British Empire. As the British were unsuccessful as the first to reach the North and South Poles they tried to go to the so-called "third pole" – to "conquer" Mount Everest.

Cecil Rawling had planned three expeditions in 1915 and 1916 but they never happened due to the outbreak of the First World War and his death in 1917. The expeditions in the 1920s were planned and managed by the British Royal Geographical Society and the Alpine Club in a joint Mount Everest Committee.[1]

The surveying activities in 1921 allowed the creation of maps which were a pre-condition for the 1922 expedition. John Noel took on the role of official expedition photographer. He took with him three movie cameras, two panorama cameras, four sheet cameras, one stereo camera and five so called "vest pocket Kodaks". The last named were small cameras that were of light weight and size to be taken by the mountaineers to great heights. These cameras were intended to allow climbers to document a possible summit success. Additionally they had on their way a special "black tent" for photographic works. Thanks to Noel's efforts, many photographs and one movie chronicled the expedition.[2]

During the 1921 expedition they had seen that the best time for a summit bid would be April–May before the monsoon season. The expeditions in 1922 and 1924 were planned according to this knowledge.

Bottled oxygen as a mountaineering aid

This year of 1922 can also be seen as the starting year for the enduring question of "fair means" and controversies about the use of bottled oxygen for mountaineering purposes in the "death zone". Alexander Mitchell Kellas was one of the very first scientist who had pointed out the possible use of bottled oxygen for gaining great heights. At this point in time the available systems (derived from mining rescue systems) were in his opinion too heavy to be a help at great heights. Kellas was part of the Everest reconnaissance expedition in 1921 but died on the way to Mt. Everest. This expedition had taken bottled oxygen with them, but it was never used. Additionally, few paid much attention to Kellas' innovative ideas, possibly because his scientific work belonged strictly to the amateur tradition. More attention was paid to the pressure vessel experiments of Professor Georges Dreyer, who had studied high-altitude problems the Royal Air Force encountered in World War I. According to his experiments—which he did partly together with George Ingle Finch—survival at great heights could only be possible with the aid of additional oxygen.

As a consequence of this scientific work, the 1922 expedition planned to use bottled oxygen. One bottle contained ca. 240 litres of oxygen. Four bottles were fixed on a carrying frame which had to be carried by the mountaineer. With the additional elements there was a weight of ca. 14.5 kg., so every mountaineer at the beginning of a climbing day had to bear a very heavy additional load. Ten of these systems were part of the expedition equipment. As well as a mask over mouth and nose, a tube was held in the mouth. Dreyer also had proposed the flow of oxygen: at 7,000 m (22,970 ft) a flow rate of 2 litres of oxygen per minute, on the summit climb they should use 2.4 litres per minute.[3] The result was a usable time of two hours per bottle. So all the oxygen would be used up after a maximum of 8 hours of climbing. Nowadays, 3 or 4-litre bottles are filled with oxygen of 250 bar pressure. At a flow of 2 litres per minute a modern bottle can be used for about 6 hours.[4]

George Finch was responsible for this equipment during this expedition which also was related to his education as a chemist and to his knowledge of this very technique. He ordered daily training for his climber colleagues to become accustomed in the use of this equipment. The apparatuses were very often faulty, were of low robustness and were very heavy together with a low grade of oxygen filling. There was unhappiness about these bottles among the mountaineers; many intended to climb without use of these bottles.[2][3] The Tibetan and Nepalese porters nicknamed these oxygen bottles as "English air".

Expedition participants

The expedition participants were selected not just for their mountaineering qualifications: family background as well as their military experiences and professions were highly valued.[1][2]

Name Function Profession
Charles G. Bruce

expedition leader

Soldier (Officer, rank: Brigadier)
Edward Lisle Strutt Deputy expedition leader and mountaineer Soldier (Officer, rank: Lieutenant Colonel)
George Mallory Mountaineer Teacher
George Ingle Finch Mountaineer Chemist (Imperial College London)
Edward "Teddy" F. Norton Mountaineer Soldier (Officer, rank: Major)
Henry T. Morshead Mountaineer Soldier (Officer, rank: Major)
Dr Howard Somervell Mountaineer medicine
Dr Arthur Wakefield Mountaineer medicine
John Noel Photographer and movie maker Soldier (Officer, rank: Captain)
Dr Tom G. Longstaff Expedition medicine medicine
Geoffrey Bruce (cousin of Charles G. Bruce) translator and organisational tasks Soldier (Officer, rank: Captain)
C. John Morris translator and organisational tasks Soldier (Officer, rank: Captain)
Colin G. Crawford translator and organisational tasks officer of the British civil colonial government

The mountaineers were accompanied by a large group of Tibetan and Nepalese porters so that the expedition in the end counted 160 men.

Approach to Mount Everest

Karte Mount Everest
Map of Mount Everest region
Mount Everest from Rombok Gompa, Tibet
Rongbuk Monastery, Mount Everest in the background

The journey to base camp primarily followed the route used in 1921. Starting in India, the expedition members gathered in Darjeeling at the end of March 1922. Some participants had arrived one month earlier to organise and recruit porters. The journey started on 26 March for most participants. Crawford and Finch stayed a couple more days to organise transportation for the oxygen systems. These items had arrived too late in Kolkata when the main travel started in Darjeeling. This further organisation went well and further transportation of the bottles was without incident.

For the journey through Tibet they had a travel permit from the Dalai Lama. From Darjeeling the route went to Kalimpong, then Phari Dzong and further to Kampa Dzong which they reached on 11 April. Here the group rested for three days so that Finch and Crawford could catch up to the team with the oxygen bottles. Then they went to Shelkar Dzong, then north to the Rongbuk Monastery and to the spot where they wanted to erect base camp. To promote the process of acclimatisation the participants alternated their travelling methods between walking and horse riding. On 1 May, they reached the lower end of the Rongbuk Glacier, the site of base camp.[5]

Planned climbing route

For the British expeditions before World War II, Everest was only climbable from the north out of Tibet as the southern side in Nepal was closed to Western foreigners at the time. Mallory had discovered a "makeable" route in 1921 from the Lhakpa La to the north face of the mountain and further to the summit. This route begins at the Rongbuk Glacier, then leads through the rough valley of the eastern Rongbuk Glacier and then to the icy eastern slopes of the North Col. From there the exposed ridges of North Ridge and Northeast Ridge allow an access in direction of the summit pyramid. A severe climbing hindrance, at the time an unknown obstacle, was the so-called Second Step at 8,605 m (28,230 ft), one of three breaks in slope on the upper northeast ridge. This step is approximately 30 m high and has a slope of more than 70 degrees, with a final wall of nearly seven vertical metres. From there the ridge route leads to the summit, by lengthy but gentle slopes. (The first official successful climb on this route was the Chinese ascent of 1960.)[6] Alternatively the British checked a route via the north wall flanks of the mountain and to ascend by the later so called Norton Couloir to the Third Step and to the summit. (This route was used by Reinhold Messner on his first solo ascent in 1980.)

Summit attempts

STS058-101-12 2
The two main routes of Mount Everest. The 1922 expedition tried ascents via the North Col – North Ridge Route (yellow)

The base camp area in the Rongbuk Valley as well as the upper east Rongbuk Glacier were known from the 1921 reconnaissance expedition but nobody had yet gone along the eastern Rongbuk Glacier valley. So on 5 May, Strutt, Longstaff, Morshead and Norton tried a first intensive reconnaissance of this valley. The Advanced Base Camp (ABC) was erected on the upper end of the glacier below icy slopes of the North Col at 6,400 m (21,000 ft). Between the base camp and the advanced base camp they erected two intermediate camps: camp I at 5,400 m (17,720 ft) and Camp II at 6,000 m (19,690 ft). The erection and the feeding of these camps was supported by local farmers who only could help for a short time as their own farms needed work.[5] Longstaff became exhausted in managing the organisation and transporting tasks and became so ill that he could not do any real mountaineering activities later on in the expedition.[2]

On 10 May Mallory and Somervell left base camp to erect Camp IV on the North Col. They arrived in Camp II only two and a half hours later. On 11 May they started to climb on the North Col.[5] This camp was at a height of 7000 m and was supported with food. The further plan was to do a first ascent trial by Mallory and Somervell without supplemental oxygen, then followed by a second climb by Finch and Norton with oxygen. However, these plans failed as a majority of the climbers became ill. So it was decided that the (more or less) healthy climbers Mallory, Somervell, Norton and Morshead should climb together.[2]

First: Without oxygen

This first attempt was made by Mallory, Somervell, Norton and Morshead without oxygen, and was supported by nine porters. They started 19 May from Camp III. They climbed at 8:45 a.m. to the North Col. The day was nice and sunny according to Mallory. Around 1 p.m. they erected the tents. The following day the climbers intended to carry only the minimum stuff: two of the smallest tents, two double sleeping bags, food for 36 hours, a gas cooking system and two thermos bottles for drinks. The porters were with three persons per tent and they were in good health at this point in time.

The following day, 20 May, Mallory was awake around 5:30 a.m. and inspired the group to start the day. The porters had slept badly the night before, as the tents provided inadequate air flow and let little oxygen into them. Only five of them intended to go up higher on the mountain. As there were also problems in preparing the food they started the further climb around 7 a.m. However, the weather worsened and the temperature fell dramatically. Above the North Col they climbed on unknown territory. Never before had any mountaineer climbed on the summit slopes of such a mountain. The porters had no warm clothing and shivered excessively. As the effort required to cut steps into the icy slopes was severe because of the hard ice surface they dropped their plan to erect a camp at 8,200 m (26,900 ft). They only went to 7600 m (which is common also for today) and erected a small camp which was named Camp V. Somervell and Morshead could erect their tent quite upright but Mallory and Norton had to use an uncomfortable slope some 50 metres away. The porters were sent down the mountain.

On 21 May the four mountaineers left their sleeping bags around 6:30 a.m. and were ready to go around 8 am. During preparation a rucksack with food fell down the mountain. Morshead, who had to fight the cold, was able to regain this rucksack but he was so exhausted from this action that he could not go higher. The climb of Mallory, Somervell and Norton was along the north ridge in direction of the upper northeast ridge. The circumstances were not ideal ones as a light snowfall began to cover the mountain. According to Mallory the snow ramps were not hard to climb. Shortly after 2 p.m. the mountaineers decided to turn around. They were 150 m below the ridge. The gained height was 8,225 m (26,985 ft) which was a world record in climbing. Around 4 p.m. they got back to Morshead in the last camp and climbed down with him. There was nearly an accident as all mountaineers except Mallory began to slip. However, Mallory was able to hold them by his rope and ice axe. They got back to Camp V in the dark and crossed a dangerous area of crevasses above the camp. On 22 May they started to climb down from North Col at 6 am.[5]

Second: With oxygen

North face marked
North face of Mt. Everest, Routes and important spots
green line normal route, mainly the route tried in 1922, high camps ca. 7700 and 8300 m, nowadays the 8300 camp is a little to the west (marked with 2 triangles)
red line Great Couloir or Norton Couloir
dark blue line Hornbein Couloir
? 2nd step at 8605m, ca. 30m, class 5–9
a) spot at ca. 8325m where George Finch went with bottled oxygen

The second climb was done by George Ingle Finch, Geoffrey Bruce and the Gurkha officer Tejbir with oxygen support. After Finch had regained his health he stated that no real mountaineer even of lesser ability was available, so searched for others fit enough to climb. Bruce and Tejbir seemed to be qualified next. In the days before the oxygen bottles had been transported to Camp III so that enough bottles were available on the upper slopes. The three mountaineers went to camp III on 20 May, checked the bottles and found them in a good state.

On 24 May they climbed to the North Col together with Noel. There Finch, Bruce and Tejbir began at 8 a.m. the following day to climb via the north ridge and on to the northeast ridge. The extreme wind was quite a hindrance the entire climb. Twelve porters transported the bottles and the other equipment. In doing this again it was evident that the use of oxygen was a great help. The three mountaineers could climb much faster than the porters despite their heavier loads. As the wind grew intense they erected camp at 7,460 m (24,480 ft). The following day 26 May the weather worsened and the group could climb no further.

They again climbed on 27 May. At this point the food was nearly exhausted as such a long lasting climb had not been planned. Nevertheless, they started at 6:30 a.m with the sun shining but climbing was hindered by a steadily increasing wind. Tejbir who had no suitable clothing against the wind grew slow and slower and broke down at 7,925 m (26,000 ft). Finch and Bruce sent him back to the camp and again climbed to the northeast ridge but they were no longer roped together. At 7,950 m (26,080 ft) Finch changed the route because of the severe wind conditions and they entered the north wall flank in the direction of the steep couloir later named "Norton Couloir". They made good progress horizontally but they gained no further elevation. At 8326 m Bruce had a problem with the oxygen system. Finch determined that Bruce was exhausted and so they turned back. During this climb the height record was broken again. At 4 p.m. the mountaineers got back to the Camp on the North Col, and 1½ hours later they were back at Camp III on the upper Eastern Rongbuk Glacier.[5]

Third: Avalanche kills 7

In the medical opinion of Longstaff, they should not have made a third try, as all mountaineers were exhausted or ill. However, Somervell and Wakefield saw no big risks, and a third try was undertaken.

On 3 June Mallory, Somervell, Finch, Wakefield and Crawford started with 14 porters at base camp. Finch had to quit in Camp I. The others arrived in Camp III on 5 June and spent one day there. Mallory had been impressed by the power of Finch, who in the second attempt had climbed much higher in the direction of the summit and also was nearer to the summit in horizontal distance. Mallory now also wanted to use oxygen.[2]

On 7 June Mallory, Somervell and Crawford led the porters through the icy slopes of North Col. The 17 men were divided into four groups, each one roped together. The European mountaineers were in the first group and compacted the snow. Half way a piece of snow became loose. Mallory, Somervell and Crawford were partially buried under snow but managed to free themselves. The group behind them was hit by an avalanche of 30 m of heavy snow, and the other nine porters in two groups fell into a crevasse and were buried under huge masses of snow. Two porters were dug out of the snow, six other porters were dead, and one porter could not be retrieved dead or alive. This accident was the end of the climbing and marked the end of this expedition.[7] Mallory had made a mistake attempting to go straight up on the icy slopes of the glacier instead of trying lesser slopes in curves. As a result, the climbers triggered an avalanche.

On 2 August all the European expedition members were back in Darjeeling.[8]

After the expedition

After their journey back to England Mallory and Finch toured the country making presentations on the expedition. This tour had two goals. First, interested audiences would get information on the expedition and the results. Second, with the financial results of this journey another expedition should be financed. Mallory additionally made a three-month trip to the United States. During this travel Mallory was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest. His answer: "Because it is there" became a classic.[9] The intended 1923 expedition to Mount Everest was delayed by financial and organizational reasons. There was insufficient time to prepare another expedition the following year.

The movie which was recorded by Noel during this expedition was also published. Climbing Mount Everest was shown for ten weeks in Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall.[2]

The European expedition members received the Olympic medal in alpinism at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games. To each of the 13 participants Pierre de Coubertin presented a Silver Medal with gold overlay.[10]

See also


  • Breashears, David; Salkeld, Audrey (2000). Mallorys Geheimnis. Was geschah am Mount Everest? (in German). Steiger. ISBN 3-89652-220-5.
  • Holzel, Tom; Salkeld, Audrey (1999). In der Todeszone. Das Geheimnis um George Mallory und die Erstbesteigung des Mount Everest (in German). Goldmann Wilhelm GmbH. ISBN 3-442-15076-0.
  • West, John B. (May 2003). "George I. Finch and his pioneering use of oxygen for climbing at extreme altitudes". Journal of Applied Physiology. American Physiological Society. 94 (5): 1702–1713. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00950.2002. PMID 12679344. Retrieved 26 December 2008.


  1. ^ a b Holzel, Salkeld: In der Todeszone
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Breashers, Salkeld: Mallorys Geheimnis
  3. ^ a b West, John; Journal of Applied Physiology
  4. ^ Bielefeldt, H. "The use of bottled oxygen" (in German). Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d e The Geographical Journal, Nr.6, 1922
  6. ^ "Everest Summits in the 1960s". Everest History. EverestNews.com. Archived from the original on 20 December 2008. Retrieved 26 December 2008.
  7. ^ The Geographical Journal, Nr.2, 1922
  8. ^ Die Naturwissenschaften, Nr. 5, 1923
  9. ^ Hazards of the Alps The New York Times, 18 March 1923
  10. ^ "Olympic Art Competition 1924 Paris". Olympic Museum. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 27 December 2008.
1905 Kanchenjunga expedition

The 1905 Kanchenjunga expedition was a Himalayan mountaineering expedition aimed to climb Kanchenjunga, which would only be conquered in 1955.

The expedition was an idea of the Swiss doctor and photographer Jules Jacot-Guillarmod. In April 1905 he proposed his plans to the British occultist Aleister Crowley, with whom he had participated in Oscar Eckenstein's K2 expedition in 1902. Crowley only agreed to join since he would be the sole climbing leader and he would have the opportunity to break the altitude record. The record at the time was held by either William Woodman Graham, Emil Boss and Ulrich Kaufmann on Kabru (7,315 m), a widely contested, but possibly accurate claim, or Matthias Zurbriggen on Aconcagua (6,962 m).

Jacot-Guillarmod recruited two of his countrymen, Alexis Pache and Charles-Adolphe Reymond, while Crowley recruited his hotelkeeper in Darjeeling, the young Italian Alcesti C. Rigo de Righi, as transport officer. On July 31 the five left with three Kashmiri servants (who had been in the K2 expedition as well), and about 230 local porters. Armed with Douglas Freshfield's map of the range and Vittorio Sella's pictures, created during a circumnavigation of the massif in 1899, Crowley planned to climb the southwest face of Kanchenjunga over the Yalung Glacier. When Camp IV was made above this glacier, the team had fallen apart: Jacot-Guillarmod especially was shocked by Crowley's arrogant behavior and brutal treatment of the (barefooted) porters. Camp V was still made around 6,200 m, and on September 1, Crowley, Pache, Reymond and a group of porters made it to about 6,500 m before a small avalanche forced a nervous retreat. In his autobiography, Crowley claimed they reached about 25,000 feet or 7,620 m and proclaimed to have held the altitude record until the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition reached 8,320 m.

The next day Jacot-Guillarmod and De Righi attempted to depose Crowley from expedition leadership. The argument could not be settled, and Jacot-Guillarmod, De Righi, and Pache decided to retreat from Camp V to Camp III. At 5 pm they left with four porters on a single rope, but a fall precipitated an avalanche that killed three porters as well as Alexis Pache. People in Camp V heard "frantic cries" and Reymond immediately descended to help, but Crowley stayed in his tent. That evening he wrote a letter to a Darjeeling newspaper stating that he had advised against the descent and that "a mountain 'accident' of this sort is one of the things for which I have no sympathy whatever". The next day Crowley passed the site of the accident without pausing nor speaking to the survivors and left on his own to Darjeeling, where he took the expedition funds, which mostly had been paid by Jacot-Guillarmod. The latter would get at least some of his money back after threatening to make public some of Crowley's pornographic poetry.

1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition

The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition set off to explore how it might be possible to get to the vicinity of Mount Everest, to reconnoitre possible routes for ascending the mountain, and – if possible – make the first ascent of the highest mountain in the world. At that time Nepal was closed to foreigners, so any approach had to be from the north, through Tibet. A feasible route was discovered from the east up the Kharta Glacier and then crossing the Lhakpa La pass north east of Everest. It was then necessary to descend to the East Rongbuk Glacier before climbing again to Everest's North Col. However, although the North Col was reached, it was not possible to climb further before the expedition had to withdraw.

Initially the expedition explored from the north and discovered the main Rongbuk Glacier, only to find that it seemed to provide no likely routes to the summit. However, at the time it was not realised that the East Rongbuk glacier actually flowed into the Rongbuk glacier – it was thought it descended away to the east.

As a reconnaissance the expedition was a success because it determined that a good route might be to approach the East Rongbuk glacier via the Rongbuk glacier, and then follow the North Col route to the summit. Next year the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition took this route and was able to climb above the North Col, although it did not reach the summit.

Charles Howard-Bury led the 1921 expedition and George Mallory, who had never before been to Himalaya, was included in the team. As events were to turn out, Mallory became the de facto lead climber. Howard-Bury wrote a book about the expedition, Mount Everest, the Reconnaissance, 1921, to which Mallory contributed six of the chapters.

1924 British Mount Everest expedition

The 1924 British Mount Everest expedition was—after the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition—the second expedition with the goal of achieving the first ascent of Mount Everest. After two summit attempts in which Edward Norton set a world altitude record of 28,126 feet (8572m), the mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine disappeared on the third attempt. Their disappearance has given rise to the long-standing unanswered question of whether or not the pair climbed to the summit. Mallory's body was found in 1999 at 26,760 feet (8155 m), but the resulting clues did not provide conclusive evidence as to whether the summit was reached.

1924 Summer Olympics

The 1924 Summer Olympics (French: Les Jeux olympiques d'été de 1924), officially known as the Games of the VIII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1924 in Paris, France.

It was the second time Paris hosted the games, after 1900. The selection process for the 1924 Summer Olympics consisted of six bids, and Paris was selected ahead of Amsterdam, Barcelona, Los Angeles, Prague, and Rome. The selection was made at the 20th IOC Session in Lausanne in 1921.The cost of the Games of the VIII Olympiad was estimated to be 10,000,000₣. With total receipts at 5,496,610₣, the Olympics resulted in a hefty loss despite crowds that reached 60,000 people at a time.

1938 American Karakoram expedition to K2

The 1938 American Karakoram expedition to K2, more properly called the "First American Karakoram expedition", investigated several routes for reaching the summit of K2, an unclimbed mountain at 28,251 feet (8,611 m) the second highest mountain in the world. Charlie Houston was the leader of what was a small and happily united climbing party. After deciding the Abruzzi Ridge was most favorable, they made good progress up to the head of the ridge at 24,700 feet (7,500 m) on July 19, 1938. However, by then their supply lines were very extended, they were short of food and the monsoon seemed imminent. It was decided that Houston and Paul Petzoldt would make a last push to get as close to the summit as they could and then rejoin the rest of the party in descent. On July 21 the pair reached about 26,000 feet (7,900 m). In favorable weather they were able to identify a suitable site for a higher camp and a clear route to the summit.The expedition was regarded as a success and no one had suffered serious injury. A suitable route up the Abruzzi Ridge had been explored in detail, good sites for tents had been found (sites that would go on to be used in many future expeditions) and they had identified the technically most difficult part of the climb, up House's Chimney at 22,000 feet (6,700 m) (named after Bill House who had led the two-hour climb up the rock face). The book the team jointly wrote, Five Miles High (Bates & Burdsall 1939), was also successful. The following year the 1939 American Karakoram expedition took advantage of the reconnaissance to get very near the summit but their descent led to tragedy.

All-time Olympic Games medal table

The all-time medal table for all Olympic Games from 1896 to 2018, including Summer Olympic Games, Winter Olympic Games, and a combined total of both, is tabulated below. These Olympic medal counts do not include the 1906 Intercalated Games which are no longer recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as official Games.

The IOC itself does not publish all-time tables, and publishes unofficial tables only per single Games. This table was thus compiled by adding up single entries from the IOC database.The results are attributed to the IOC country code as currently displayed by the IOC database. Usually, a single code corresponds to a single National Olympic Committee (NOC). When different codes are displayed for different years, medal counts are combined in the case of a simple change of IOC code (such as from HOL to NED for the Netherlands) or simple change of country name (such as from Ceylon to Sri Lanka). As the medals are attributed to each NOC, not all totals include medals won by athletes from that country for another NOC, such as before independence of that country (see individual footnotes for special cases such as combined teams). Names in italic are national entities that no longer exist. The totals of NOCs are not combined with those of their predecessors and successors.

Bentley Beetham

Bentley Beetham (1 May 1886 – 5 April 1963) was an English mountaineer, ornithologist and photographer, and a member of the 1924 British Mount Everest expedition.

British Everest Expedition

The British Mount Everest Expedition can refer to one of three expeditions organised by the Mount Everest Committee or its successor the Joint Himalayan Committee with the aim of making the first ascent of Mount Everest.

British Mount Everest Expedition 1922

British Mount Everest Expedition 1924

British Mount Everest Expedition 1953

Charles Granville Bruce

Brigadier-General The Honourable Charles Granville Bruce, CB, MVO (7 April 1866 – 12 July 1939) was a Himalayan veteran and leader of the second and third British expeditions to Mount Everest in 1922 and 1924. He was given a special prize at the end of the first ever Winter Olympics in France for mountaineering as the leader of the British that tried to climb Mount Everest in 1922.

Edward F. Norton

Lieutenant General Edward Felix Norton DSO MC (21 February 1884 – 3 November 1954) was a British army officer and mountaineer.

He attended Charterhouse School and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and then joined artillery units in India and served in World War I. He had been introduced to mountain climbing at the home in the Alps of his grandfather, Alfred Wills. His experience led to joining the British Mount Everest expeditions in 1922 and 1924, and reached high elevations both years. His 8570m height (reached on the Great Couloir route) was a world altitude record which stood for nearly 30 years, only being surpassed during the unsuccessful Swiss expedition of 1952. In 1924, he took over leadership of the expedition when General Charles Granville Bruce fell ill, and Norton was praised for handling affairs in the aftermath of the disappearance of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine.

He served at Staff Colleges in India and England, and commanded the Royal Artillery and later the Madras District in the 1930s. During 1940-41, he was acting governor and then Commander-in-Chief of Hong Kong. He retired in 1942 after a near fatal riding accident.

Geoffrey Bruce (Indian Army officer)

Major General John Geoffrey Bruce (4 December 1896 – 31 January 1972) was an officer in the British Indian Army, eventually becoming Deputy Chief of General Staff, who participated in the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition. Bruce, who had never before climbed a mountain, had been appointed as a transport officer, but chance led to him accompanying George Finch on the only summit attempt that used supplemental oxygen. Together they set a new mountaineering world record height of 8,300 metres (27,300 ft), only 520 metres (1,700 ft) below the summit of Mount Everest.

John de Vars Hazard

John de Vars Hazard MC (18 August 1888 – 12 June 1968) was a British Army officer and mountaineer who took part in the 1924 British Mount Everest expedition, most famous for the disappearance of the mountaineers George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine.

Lhagba La

Lhagba La or Lhakpa La (meaning "Windy Gap") is a 6,849-metre (22,470 ft) col about 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) northeast of Mount Everest in the Tibet Autonomous Region.

It was unknown to local inhabitants until it was discovered and named by the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition when reconnoitring a route to climb the mountain.

Lhagba La is the starting point of the Kada Glacier which descends eastwards along the valley towards Kada. The Kada River is a tributary of the Arun River. On the western side of the col is the East Rongbuk Glacier which flows north from Everest. Lhagba Pool, 500 metres (1,600 ft) below and to 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) southwest, is reportedly the second highest lake in the world.Expeditions attempting Everest via the North Col generally arrive up the East Rongbuk Glacier and so do not reach Lhagba La at all. However, when George Mallory and Guy Bullock were trying to reach the North Col, the route from Rongbuk was unknown to them. Instead they approached from the east only to find the glacier did not extend to the North Col. The climbing team eventually had to cross the pass and descend some 460 metres (1,500 ft) to the East Rongbuk Glacier before ascending to the North Col. Their discovery allowed the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition to take the more direct route from the north.

The well known Yeti footprints were found in this region for the first time in the world probably at the beginning of 19th century. Later it came up into the light through the media. This mystery of "Yeti" is still unsolved.

List of deaths on eight-thousanders

The eight-thousanders are the 14 mountains that rise more than 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) above sea level; they are all in the Himalayan and Karakoram mountain ranges.

This is a list of mountaineers who have died on these mountains.

List of people who died climbing Mount Everest

Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres (29,029 ft), is the world's highest mountain and a particularly desirable peak for mountaineers, but climbing it can be hazardous. More than 300 people have died attempting to reach the summit. The last year without known deaths on the mountain was 1977, a year in which only two people reached the summit.Most deaths have been attributed to avalanches, injury from fall, serac collapse, exposure, frostbite, or health problems related to conditions on the mountain. Not all bodies have been located, so details on those deaths are not available.

The upper reaches of the mountain are in the death zone. The "death zone" is a mountaineering term for altitudes above a certain point – around 8,000 m (26,000 ft), or less than 356 millibars (5.16 psi) of atmospheric pressure – where the oxygen level is not sufficient to sustain human life. Many deaths in high-altitude mountaineering have been caused by the effects of the death zone, either directly (loss of vital functions) or indirectly (unwise decisions made under stress or physical weakening leading to accidents).

In the death zone, the human body cannot acclimatize, as it uses oxygen faster than it can be replenished. An extended stay in the zone without supplementary oxygen will result in deterioration of bodily functions, loss of consciousness and, ultimately, death.

Mount Everest

Mount Everest, known in Nepali as Sagarmatha (सगरमाथा) and in Tibetan as Chomolungma (ཇོ་མོ་གླང་མ), is Earth's highest mountain above sea level, located in the Mahalangur Himal sub-range of the Himalayas. The international border between Nepal (Province No. 1) and China (Tibet Autonomous Region) runs across its summit point.

The current official elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft), recognized by China and Nepal, was established by a 1955 Indian survey and subsequently confirmed by a Chinese survey in 1975. In 2005, China remeasured the rock height of the mountain, with a result of 8844.43 m (29,017 ft). There followed an argument between China and Nepal as to whether the official height should be the rock height (8,844 m, China) or the snow height (8,848 m, Nepal). In 2010, an agreement was reached by both sides that the height of Everest is 8,848 m, and Nepal recognizes China's claim that the rock height of Everest is 8,844 m.In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society, upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. As there appeared to be several different local names, Waugh chose to name the mountain after his predecessor in the post, Sir George Everest, despite Everest's objections.Mount Everest attracts many climbers, some of them highly experienced mountaineers. There are two main climbing routes, one approaching the summit from the southeast in Nepal (known as the "standard route") and the other from the north in Tibet. While not posing substantial technical climbing challenges on the standard route, Everest presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather, and wind, as well as significant hazards from avalanches and the Khumbu Icefall. As of 2017, nearly 300 people have died on Everest, many of whose bodies remain on the mountain.The first recorded efforts to reach Everest's summit were made by British mountaineers. As Nepal did not allow foreigners into the country at the time, the British made several attempts on the north ridge route from the Tibetan side. After the first reconnaissance expedition by the British in 1921 reached 7,000 m (22,970 ft) on the North Col, the 1922 expedition pushed the north ridge route up to 8,320 m (27,300 ft), marking the first time a human had climbed above 8,000 m (26,247 ft). Seven porters were killed in an avalanche on the descent from the North Col. The 1924 expedition resulted in one of the greatest mysteries on Everest to this day: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine made a final summit attempt on 8 June but never returned, sparking debate as to whether or not they were the first to reach the top. They had been spotted high on the mountain that day but disappeared in the clouds, never to be seen again, until Mallory's body was found in 1999 at 8,155 m (26,755 ft) on the north face. Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary made the first official ascent of Everest in 1953, using the southeast ridge route. Norgay had reached 8,595 m (28,199 ft) the previous year as a member of the 1952 Swiss expedition. The Chinese mountaineering team of Wang Fuzhou, Gonpo, and Qu Yinhua made the first reported ascent of the peak from the north ridge on 25 May 1960.

Nepal at the Olympics

Nepal has competed in twelve Summer Games, and in four Winter Olympic Games.

Tejbir Bura, a Nepali national, won an Olympic gold medal in mixed alpinism at the 1924 Winter Olympics for his role as a member of the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition. However, as citizens of other countries took part in the expedition as well, the award went to a mixed team. Furthermore, the International Olympic Committee website does not recognize this medal as official.Nepal's taekwondo practitioner Bidhan Lama won a bronze medal at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, however it isn't counted as an official medal since taekwondo was an exhibition sport during the 1988 Summer Olympics.

Nepal has yet to win an Olympic medal.The Nepal Olympic Committee was formed in 1962 and recognized in 1963.

Tejbir Bura

Lans-Naik Tejbir Bura was a Nepalese army officer, mountaineer and a gold medalist in mixed alpinism, as he was recognized during the 1924 Winter Olympics for his participation in the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition. He worked as a NOC of the Nepalese Army, which was called the Gurkha Army at that time. Tejbir was promoted to become an officer in the British India Army, a position in which he achieved the military rank of Naik, which in India is equal to the rank of Corporal.

Tejbir Bura was part of the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition, an attempt to climb Mount Everest, which was led by Charles Granville Bruce. The father of the Modern Olympics, Pierre de Coubertin stated that an Olympic medal should be awarded to the Mount Everest climbers who were part of the 1922 Mount Everest expedition. The athletes who were part of that expedition received gold medals at the 1924 Winter Olympics, although they are not considered in the medal tallies of the International Olympic Committee. Tejbir Bura was the first Nepalese to win an Olympic medal, and he is still regarded as the only gold medalist for Nepal in its Olympic history, despite that his medal isn't recognised as official according to the rules of the IOC.The sources lack further information about Tejbir Bura, especially his dates of birth and death. Some critics say he is of Indian origin and not Nepalese origin.

Tom Longstaff

Tom George Longstaff (15 January 1875 – 27 June 1964) was an English doctor, explorer and mountaineer, most famous for being the first person to climb a summit of over 7,000 metres in elevation, Trisul, in the India/Pakistann Himalaya in 1907. He also made important explorations and climbs in Tibet, Nepal, the Karakoram, Spitsbergen, Greenland, and Baffin Island. He was president of the (British) Alpine Club from 1947 to 1949 and a founding member of The Alpine Ski Club in 1908.

Topography and landmarks
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Mount Everest massif

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