The Hunt for Mount Everest
The height of Mt. Everest was first measured in 1850, but the closest any westerner got to Everest during the next 71 years, until 1921, was 40 miles. The Hunt for Mt. Everest tells the story of the 71-year quest to find the world’s highest mountain. It’s a tale of high drama, of larger-than-life characters-George Everest, Francis Younghusband, George Mallory, Lord Curzon, Edward Whymper-and a few quiet heroes: Alexander Kellas, the 13th Dalai Lama, Charles Bell.
A story that traverses the Alps, the Himalayas, Nepal and Tibet, the British Empire (especially British India and the Raj), the Anglo-Russian rivalry known as The Great Game, the disastrous First Afghan War, and the phenomenal Survey of India – it is far bigger than simply the tallest mountain in the world. Encountering spies, war, political intrigues, and hundreds of mules, camels, bullocks, yaks, and two zebrules, Craig Storti uncovers the fascinating and still largely overlooked saga of all that led up to that moment in late June of 1921 when two English climbers, George Mallory and Guy Bullock, became the first westerners-and almost certainly the first human beings-to set foot on Mt. Everest and thereby claimed the last remaining major prize in the history of exploration.
With 2021 bringing the 100th anniversary of that year, most Everest chronicles have dealt with the climbing history of the mountain, with all that happened after 1921. The Hunt for Mt. Everest is the seldom-told story of all that happened before.
Tense and detailed ... A lively and useful addition to the shelves of Everestiana -- John Keay A rich and fascinating book that tells the story of Everest in glimpses from unexpected angles, revealing one face then another, discovering surprising new routes through well-trodden terrain. Getting to the top isn't the point - the point is the mountain itself -- Nick Hunt A very readable and entertaining account of the earliest days of Everest, with a cast of great characters and driving narrative which reaches a terrific climax in 1921 -- Mick Conefrey A compelling account of the essential back story to the epic 20th century attempt by British mountaineering expeditions to ascend the world's highest mountain ... This is great mountaineering history -- Maurice Isserman * co-author of Fallen Giants * To climb the world's highest mountain was one thing; to find it quite another. In this compelling new contribution to the cultural history of mountaineering, Storti composes the definitive back story of Mount Everest -- Stewart Weaver * co-author of Fallen Giants * Craig Storti has given us the Everest book that we've needed all along ... The Hunt for Mount Everest is the necessary, and admirably written, historical prelude to the great age of Himalayan mountaineering -- Scott Ellsworth An entertaining and enlightening account of how the British identified the highest mountain, ensured that it was their preserve, and made the first attempt to climb it. -- Peter Gillman
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