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Everest 1953

The Epic Story of the First Ascent


Discover the real story behind one of Britain’s greatest triumphs

On the morning of 2 June 1953, the day of Queen Elizabeth’s coronation, the first news broke that Everest had finally been conquered. Drawing on first-hand interviews and unprecedented access to archives, this is a ground-breaking new account of that extraordinary first ascent. Revealing that what has gone down in history as a supremely well-planned expedition was actually beset by crisis and controversy, Everest 1953 recounts a bygone age of self-sacrifice and heroism, using letters and personal diaries to reveal the immense stress and heartache the climbers often hid from their fellow team members. Charting how the ascent affected the original team ­in subsequent years and detailing its immense cultural impact today, Everest 1953 is the perfect book to commemorate this remarkable feat of the human will.

Mick Conefrey is author of the award-winning Adventurer's Handbook, currently in development with Universal Pictures. An internationally recognised documentary film-maker, he has won many awards for his films on mountaineering and exploration; most prominent is his 2002 film The Race for Everest with the BBC.

  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (October 18, 2012)
  • Length: 400 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781780741031

"A magnificent book that deserves to become the definitive version. We cannot hope for a more human, funny or meticulous account of what was a very British expedition." Independent "Conefrey describes this frenetic scramble for ownership of the mountain brilliantly - a tale of great courage.' Observer "An exciting, moving account - a fascinating piece of documentary writing, as readable and poignant as Into Thin Air or Touching the Void." Spectator

’I really enjoyed Everest 1953… it’s fascinating and the people in it come over as real flesh and blood human beings… very readable… one of those books that might keep you up until three in the morning because you want to know what happens next’ 

– Anne Widdecombe

"Outstanding. Conefrey has found fascinating hitherto unpublished material and woven it cleverly into one of the most famous tales in mountaineering history. Eminently readable and valuable."

– Julie Summers - Chair of the Mountain heritage Trust and author of Fearless on Everest: the Quest fo

"A gripping narrative underpinned by meticulous research. With the same forensic eye for detail that informs his documentary films, Conefrey reminds us that this was actually a great team effort, which only just succeeded at the eleventh hour."

– Stephen Venables - first British mountaineer to summit Everest without oxygen and author of Higher T

“A highly readable and comprehensive account of a landmark mountaineering achievement.”

– Peter Gillman - Author of The Wildest Dream: Mallory - His Life and Conflicting Passions

"A wonderful addition to the Everest literature… thoroughly researched and compelling."

– Wade Davis - Bestselling author of Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Ever

"A thorough and well-researched book which tells the 'inside' story of an often misunderstood expedition. Essential reading for anyone with a fascination for Everest."

– Matt Dickinson - author of The Death Zone: Climbing Everest Through the Killer Storm

More books from this author: Mick Conefrey