National Geographic : 1963 May
Handie Talkie undergoes a radio communication check by Norman Dyhrenfurth, leader of the Ameri can Mount Everest Expedition. Rainier offered the near-Himala yan conditions needed to test men and gear for Everest. Climbers Hope This Winch Will Lighten Their Loads Driven by a compact motor, the 16-pound winch (opposite page, left) can pull thirty times its own weight up a slope. Special fuel keeps it running at lofty altitudes. Here it hauls a laden sled (out of picture) up Cowlitz Glacier. Drum at right reels in the cable. Of 12 major attempts to scale Everest, only the British expedition of 1953 and the Swiss in 1956 have made it. The Americans will also try to conquer Everest's towering neighbors, 27,923-foot Lhotse and 25,726-foot Nuptse. Expedition sci entists will obtain valuable data on the stresses caused by climbing the world's highest mountains. has shown that tasty items will spur men to eat ade quately when high altitude depresses hunger. Such foods will also make us crave water. Drinking large amounts of liquid-as much as possible when we near the 29,028-foot summit of Everest-will be absolutely necessary to stem the weakening effects of high-alti tude dehydration. If all goes well, we will be high on Everest by the time you read this article. Our best energies will be aimed at becoming the first Americans, and the third party in history, to scale this monarch of all mountains. We will also attempt its sister peaks, Lhotse and Nuptse. And our ultimate success will hinge in part on how well we did our homework on Mount Rainier last summer. And why, you may wonder, did we choose Rainier, that picture-postcard peak within an easy two-hour drive of Tacoma or Seattle? What does this often climbed, 14,410-foot landmark have in common with the breathless heights of near-inaccessible Everest? Snow, for one thing-more than 83 feet a record sea son, piling up drifts deep enough to bury a three-story house, hurtling down in avalanches that can sweep a man away from sight and rescue. Glaciers, for another-2 6 of them, the most found on any single mountain in the United States. And, finally, fickle weather-the kind that can beset climbers with chilling fog, hot sun, and blinding bliz 690 Author Bishop tries an oxygen mask developed by team member Tom Hornbein. Asleep or climbing, the par ty will wear masks above 23,000 feet.