National Geographic : 1954 Jul
4 Lowe, Hero of the Lhotse Face, Looks Down on the Cwm from 25,000 Feet For 11 days George Lowe, assisted intermittently by Michael Ward, Wilfrid Noyce, and Ang Nyima, fought to hack a path up the loose, treacherous snow of the Lhotse Face. From high on the face a traverse might be made to Everest's South Col, jump-off place for an attack on the summit. Living and struggling above 23,000 feet for as long as any mountaineer in history, Lowe combated piercing cold, blizzards that obliterated all the previous day's painful trailmaking, sickness that de pleted his work party, and the fearful deterioration wrought by altitude itself. Neither Lowe's high spirits nor his appetite, long legendary, waned at these heights. But he found sleeping difficult. Joined by Noyce one night, he took sleeping pills. Barely wakened by the next noon, he reeled along the trail and, during a pause for food, dozed off with half a sardine hanging out his mouth. Ang Nyima, Lowe's Sherpa companion for the first five days of the work, had not greatly impressed the party at lower altitudes. But on the face he performed like a veteran climber, stamping out a track, cut ting steps, fixing hand lines, and keeping his huge, cheerful grin to the last. Later, he was to carry a load higher on Everest than any other Sherpa but Tenzing himself. 38 Kodachrome by Alfred Gregory © R.G .S . and Alpine Club ,. *. . .... ' t.