National Geographic : 1954 Jul
4 Illustrations copyright by Royal Geographical Society and Alpine Club of Great Britain Down Bhadgaon's Cobbled Streets Wind Expedition Bearers, en Route to Everest Before World War II all climbing parties tackled the mountain's north face, by way of Tibet. Then Red Chinese invaded Tibet and the northern approach was closed. In 1951 a British group explored a route through Nepal, opening up Everest's southwest flank and paving the way for the 1953 assault. Wilfrid Noyce, rucksack on back, brings up the rear in this suburb of Katmandu, Nepal's capital. White Glass Fort near Inner Rock Valley monastery is the district called 'The Southern Country where Birds are Kept.' " First Opened to Climbers in 1920 This note, and the official passport which followed it, signified the first permission long denied-ever granted Europeans to climb earth's highest peak. The "Five Treasuries" were the five summits of Kanchenjunga; "White Glass Fort" was the hill town of Shekar Dzong; the monastery lay in Rongbuk Valley; and "The Southern Country where Birds are Kept" held the massive eminence called Chomolungma, "Goddess Mother of the World": Mount Everest. That was December 9, 1920. In the 32 years that followed, seven major expeditions sallied forth to conquer Everest, well equipped, led and manned by mountaineers of superla tive caliber, and in most instances supported by small armies of porters. Each party pressed the attack to the uttermost limits of human endurance, threw all its resources, skills, hopes, and even lives into the attempt -and fell back defeated.