National Geographic : 1965 Sep
AMERICANS ON EVEREST: a tale of courage, suffering, and triumph. At the cost of a life, of toes lost by frostbite, and of sheer physical torture, a team of Americans plants the United States and National Geographic flags on the roof of the world. Six of their number gain the summit. Two ascend by the forbidding West Ridge, a feat many consid ered impossible, and then descend by the opposite route, becoming first to traverse a major Hima layan peak. Besides an swering the challenge of Everest, the American ex pedition counts a wealth of scientific data among its rewards. Light tents offer the only shelter from gale winds and subzero cold. Ravens, begging scraps from measured rations, appear to be the only residents of the heights. NAWANGGOMBU(TOP, LEFT) AND BARRYC. BISHOP © N.G.S. of five of the six major political conventions. As Chief of the National Geographic So ciety's new Television Service, Mr. Doyle has worked closely with the Society's Committee for Research and Exploration and with Exec utive Vice President Melvin M. Payne. He has built an outstanding staff of film editors, cameramen, and researchers, and has enlisted the valuable aid of award-winning David L. Wolper Productions, Incorporated. For "Americans on Everest," the Society invited the distinguished American actor producer Orson Welles to serve as narrator. Background music was specially composed by the Italian musician Franco Ferrara. Thanks largely to the skill and determi nation of the expedition's leader and chief cinematographer, Norman G. Dyhrenfurth, the color motion picture is superb-truly worthy of earth's superlative mountain. As readers know from the Everest articles in this magazine, the climbs in May, 1963, rank with the great adventures of the century.* And the motion-picture camera tells that story more vividly than it has ever been told before. I shall always remember my own first look at these extraordinary films, when Norman Dyhrenfurth presented them for the first time at his National Geographic lecture in Wash ington, attended by more than 6,000 people at *See in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: "American and Geo graphic Flags Top Everest," by Melvin M. Payne, August, 1963; and "Six to the Summit," by Norman G. Dyhren furth, "How We Climbed Everest," by Barry C. Bishop, and "The First Traverse," by Thomas F. Hornbein and William F. Unsoeld, October, 1963.