It has been quite a year



It has been quite a year

The highlights of 2012 were the amazing feat, in early summer, by Kenton Cool taking the medal awarded to Arthur Wakefield to the summit, fulfilling a pleadge given to the President of the Olympic Committee in 1924, when the medals were awarded to those members who had been on the 1922 expedition. It was wonderful to meet so many descendants of those brave men.

Shortly after, there was the opportunity to attend a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Here we met descendants of many British people who had been in Tibet before the Chinese invasion. It was another interesting and illuminating gathering.

Naturally, 2013 will be a great occasion, celebrating the 60th anniversary of the successful climb. Many of us remember that day, when we were celebrating the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth 11, when news reached Britain that the world's highest mountain had been climbed. For men like my father, survivors of the fateful 1924 attempt, it was a day of mixed emotions - immense pleasure that the mountain had been climbed, but a sharp reminder of the losses incurred during the three pioneer expeditions.

I have recently been able to establish that my father's last clandestine foray into Tibet was in autumn, 1913, so 2013 will be a chance to commemorate 100 years since he explored a route to Mount Everest, reaching to within 40 miles of the mountain. The British Film Institute is restoring his film of the 1924 expedition, 'Epic of Everest', a silent film documenting the Tibetan people, the hardships experienced on the plateau of Tibet, preparations for the climb, and the final tragedy, all beautifully and sympathetically captured in powerful black and white moving film.

It will be another memorable year in the history of early Everest exploration.





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