Stephen Venables is a writer and mountaineer who was the first Briton to climb Mt Everest without the aid of supplementary oxygen. He is a former president of the the Alpine Club and of the South Georgia Association, having led ten expeditions to that sub-antarctic island. He has published twelve books and appeared in several television documentaries, most memorably climbing the Matterhorn in Victorian dress.
EVEREST EAST SIDE STORY
The title of his talk refers to the rarely visited Kangshung Face of Everest, in Tibet, where Stephen and three American companions pioneered a new route to the summit in 1988. He will relate that epic climb in the context of the earliest Everest expeditions, in particular the 1921 Reconnaissance, which was the first to explore the eastern and northern approaches to the mountain, seventeen years after Col Younghusband’s brief and ill-advised invasion of Tibet. Stephen will also touch on the first ascent in 1953; the leader of that expedition, John Hunt, was also ‘honorary leader’ of the 1988 expedition. Keen mountain historians will note that 2024 is the centenary of the 1924 expedition when George Mallory and Sandy Irvine disappeared near the summit.