Historical Miscellany #9 – Mallory’s first glimpse of Everest (1921)

‘It was a perfectly early morning. We had mounted a thousand feet when we turned and saw what we came to see. There was no mistaking the two great peaks in the west; that to the left must be Makalu, grey, severe, and yet distinctly graceful, and the other away to the right – who could doubt its identity? It was a prodigious white fang excrescent from the jaw of the world. We saw Mount Everest not quite sharply defined on account of a sharp haze in that direction; this circumstance added a touch of mystery and grandeur; we were satisfied that the highest of mountains would not disappoint us.’

George Mallory, June 1921

(I’m currently making my own expedition through Wade Davis’ beautifully conceived, stylishly written and enormously thorough Into the Silence)

More Historical Miscellany here.

Image credit: bobwitlox – Everest can be seen at the very back of this aerial photo

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