>Americans summit Everest

>On this day in 1963 Mount Everest was submitted for the first time by an American.

I find this interesting in part because of how times have changed since then. That year there was only one expedition on the mountain. Today there may be many, with a thousand climbers on its slopes. No longer do climbers plant their country’s flag on the summit, and many since have reached the summit without the use of bottle oxygen. Expeditions are typically much smaller than they used to be, and many climbers are actually clients who have paid their way onto a climbing team. Also, the typical location for base camp is now considered the world’s highest garbage dump, from past expeditions leaving their used equipment, and is often packed with people. In 1963 there would have been few places on earth as wild and pristine.

I first became aware of the 1963 American expedition by reading a copy of Everest Diary John D. McCallum, based on the diary of Lute Jerstad. I mentioned this in an earlier post. For me those early Everest expeditions have a wonderful romantic quality. Although I have climbed several minuscule mountains by comparison I used to think maybe someday I would climb in the Himalayas. Alas, now I hope maybe I will someday get a chance to just see them for myself.

Here is the first three minutes of the documentary made of the expedition:


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