E.F. (‘Teddy’) Norton was a member of the 1922 Everest expedition and the leader of the 1924 attempt on the mountain. In 1922 he reached a then record height of 26,985ft. Two years later he set a world altitude record without oxygen of 28,126ft, a record that stood for fifty-four years. A few days after, his fellow climbers Mallory and Irvine disappeared high on the mountain, a mystery that has fascinated subsequent generations and remains a topic of fierce debate today. The qualities of leadership which Norton showed that year in the face of appalling adversities have led to him being regarded as one of the greatest of all Everest expedition leaders. His official account of the expedition has since become a classic. Norton’s private diaries and sketches, published here for the first time, give a lively impression of the joys and trials of the early Everest expeditions, shedding new light on the climbing campaigns. They also record the landscapes, wildlife, flowers and people encountered en route, and provide a glimpse of the lost world of pre-war Tibet in vivid colour.
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