“Towering up thousands of feet, a glittering pinnacle of snow, a giant amongst pigmies, and remarkable not only on account of its height, but for its perfect form. No other peaks lie near or threaten its supremacy…. It is difficult to give an idea of its stupendous height, its dazzling whiteness and overpowering size, for there is nothing in the world to compare it with.” (Cecil Rawling, first sighting of Everest, 1904).
Decades before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first glimpsed Earth from its highest peak, an intrepid group of British explorers launched a full-scale assault of Everest with little more than crampons, Mummery tents and ice picks at their disposal. Spurred on by mystic visions of Tibet and desperate to forget the horrific nightmares of the Great War, George Mallory and his team of mountaineers ventured into uncharted territory to lay claim to the unassailable North Face of Chomolugma.
On their third desperate attempt for the top, besieged by snowstorms, freak avalanches, impassable icefalls, snow blindness, frostbite and lack of oxygen, Mallory and 18-year old Sandy Irvine were last spotted just a few feet from the summitt on June 6th, 1924. They never returned.
With meticulous precision and heartfelt pathos, Wade Davis unravels the greatest mountaineering mystery of all times in his encyclopedic account Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest. From the blood-drenched poppy fields of Flanders to the color-popping exuberance of Tibet’s Kama Valley, from the schizophrenic neurosis of war-plagued London to the exotic golf clubs of India and the stark serenity of Nepalese glaciers and monasteries, this is the ultimate tale of humanity’s greedy dream to ascend the very pinnacle of the seat of the Gods.
Enliven your spirit by the warm glow of a camp fire with an energizing bowl of hot chili noodles, a vitamin boost of pomegranate seeds, dates and figs, and a frothy pint of Tibetan barley beer.