"The real measure is the success or fall of the climber to triumph, not over a lifeless mountain, but over themself": First Edition of The Ascent of Everest; Signed by Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, Jim Whittaker, Jon Krakauer and Thomas Hornbein
London: Hodder & Houghton, 1953.
First edition of this account of the 1953 British conquest of Everest. Octavo, original blue cloth, with eight color photographic plates, 48 half-tone plates and many in-text illustrations after pen-and-ink sketches. Signed by Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay (on the frontispiece of Norgay opposite the title page), Jim Whittaker, Jon Krakauer and Thomas Hornbein. Hillary and Norgay became the first two individuals to reach the summit of Mount Everest on May 29, 1953 as part of the 1953 British Everest expedition led by British Army officer John Hunt. Hunt named two two-man teams to make the final ascent to the summit and placed Hillary with Nepali-Indian Sherpa mountaineer Tenzing Norgay who had participated as a high-altitude porter in three official British attempts to climb Everest from the northern Tibetan side in the 1930s. Tenzing later wrote that Hillary took the first step onto the summit and he followed. They reached Everest’s 29,028 ft summit – the highest point on earth – at 11:30 am on May 29th 1953. The event marked a culminating moment in mountaineering history, and one of the great achievements of human stamina and will which garnered worldwide attention. American mountaineer Jim Whittaker was the first American to reach the summit of Mount Everest as a member of the 1963 American Mount Everest Expedition led by Norman Dyhrenfurth. American mountaineers Thomas Hornbein and Willi Unsoeld were the first to attempt an ascent of Everest’s West Ridge. American mountaineer John Krakauer wrote the 1997 bestselling book Into Thin Air, which is an account of the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Jacket design by W. Heaton Cooper. Chapter 16 is Sir Edmund Hillary’s stirring account of the final part of the climb, and the appendices are by members of the expedition. Foreword by H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh. We have never seen another first edition signed by both Hillary and Norgay.
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