New original Damn Interesting article/episode by @erikanesvold: In 1933, British WWI vet Maurice Wilson hatched an unorthodox plan to reach the still-untouched summit of Everest https://t.co/qnc7BShczfpic.twitter.com/WP8ALPKxdi
— Damn Interesting (@DamnInteresting) December 14, 2022
As far as we know, no human ever reached the peak of Mount Everest until 1953, when Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary scaled the summit and returned alive. The 1924 British Mount Everest expedition was the most notable attempt, when three teams of two men each attempted the last leg up. Two of the teams returned unsuccessfully, and two men died in the attempt. Maurice Wilson read of the expedition, and thought that it couldn’t be that difficult; it’s just a mountain. Years later, he was inspired to do something important, a grand gesture of faith, if you will. He remembered Everest and decided he would climb to the summit. The fact that he wasn’t a mountain climber did not deter him.
But how would he get to Nepal? Wilson’s plan was to fly. He bought a small biplane and got his pilot’s license. His plan was to fly to the base of Mount Everest and then climb to the summit. He didn’t think he’d really need oxygen bottles, and didn’t even know what a crampon was. He never considered altitude acclimation. He didn’t have proper maps or flight clearances to even get to the area. And his plane only held enough fuel to travel 740 miles between stops. In 1933, he took off on his big adventure. As you might have guessed by now, it didn’t go according to plan. But Wilson managed to get to Everest anyway. Read the story of Maurice Wilson’s Everest expedition at Damn Interesting. Or listen to it in podcast form.
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