First Edition of The Conquest of Everest; Signed by Edmund Hillary, George Lowe, Charles Evans and Louise Hillary
The Conquest of Everest.
Hunt, John; With a Chapter on the Final Assault by Edmund Hillary [George Lowe, Charles Evans and Louise Hillary].$1,500.00
Item Number: 102102
New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1954.
First edition of this classic account of the first ascent of Mount Everest. Octavo, original half cloth, illustrated with 8 pages of photographs in full color, and 48 pages in black and white, maps, sketches and drawings. Foreword by Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh. Presentation copy, boldly inscribed on the front free endpaper in a contemporary hand in the year of publication, “To Emily Rosset in appreciation of a pleasant stay in Philadelphia E.P. Hillary 2/10/54.” Additionally signed by George Lowe, Charles Evans and Louise Hillary. The 1953 British Mount Everest expedition was the ninth mountaineering expedition to attempt the first ascent of Mount Everest, and the first confirmed to have succeeded when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit on Friday, 29 May 1953. Led by Colonel John Hunt, it was organized and financed by the Joint Himalayan Committee. News of the expedition’s success reached London in time to be released on the morning of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation, 2 June. Charles Evans was John Hunt’s deputy leader on the expedition. With Tom Bourdillon, he made the first ascent of the South Summit, coming within three hundred feet of the main summit of Everest on 26 May 1953, but was forced to turn back. George Lowe helped prepare the route up the Lhotse Face towards the South Col at close to 8,000m altitude. On May 28th, Lowe, Alfred Gregory and Sherpa Ang Nyima, all carrying heavy loads, set out with Hillary and Tenzing as the support party for their summit attempt. Camp IX was established at 8,500m, then Lowe, Gregory and Ang Nyima descended to the South Col. The following day, May 29th, Hillary and Tenzing successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest. Lowe went on to direct a documentary film during the expedition, entitled The Conquest of Everest that was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Newspaper cutouts to the rear endpaper in regards to the Everest Team in Philadelphia, near fine in a very good dust jacket. Uncommon signed and inscribed in the year of publication.
The 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest was the eighth in 30 years to attempt Everest. On May 29th, 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay at last stood at the summit; it was a culminating moment in mountaineering history, and one of the great achievements of human stamina and will. The Ascent of Everest was written by Sir John Hunt, the leader of the expedition, in one month to satisfy the great demand around the world for the story of the British team’s success. 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.