1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition

1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition1921 reconnaissance19211921 British reconnaissanceBritish Reconnaissance Expedition1921 British expedition1921 Everest reconnaissance expedition1921 expeditionBritish Everest reconnaissance expedition of 1921British Mount Everest expedition of 1921–22
The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition set off to explore how it might be possible to get to the vicinity of Mount Everest, to reconnoitre possible routes for ascending the mountain, and – if possible – make the first ascent of the highest mountain in the world.wikipedia
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Mount Everest

EverestMt. EverestSagarmartha (Mount Everest)
The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition set off to explore how it might be possible to get to the vicinity of Mount Everest, to reconnoitre possible routes for ascending the mountain, and – if possible – make the first ascent of the highest mountain in the world.
After the first reconnaissance expedition by the British in 1921 reached 7000 m on the North Col, the 1922 expedition pushed the north ridge route up to 8320 m, marking the first time a human had climbed above 8000 m. Seven porters were killed in an avalanche on the descent from the North Col. The 1924 expedition resulted in one of the greatest mysteries on Everest to this day: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine made a final summit attempt on 8 June but never returned, sparking debate as to whether or not they were the first to reach the top.

1922 British Mount Everest expedition

19221922 Everest expedition1922 expedition
Next year the 1922 British Mount Everest expedition took this route and was able to climb above the North Col, although it did not reach the summit.
The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition had seen the whole eastern and northern surroundings of the mountain.

Lhagba La

A feasible route was discovered from the east up the Kharta Glacier and then crossing the Lhakpa La pass north east of Everest.
It was unknown to local inhabitants until it was discovered and named by the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition when reconnoitring a route to climb the mountain.

Guy Bullock

Guy Henry Bullock
The expedition set off in April 1921 – the climbing team consisted of two experienced mountaineers, Harold Raeburn and Alexander Kellas, and two younger men, George Mallory and Guy Bullock, both Old Wykehamists without any Himalayan experience.
Guy Henry Bullock (23 July 1887 – 1956) was a British diplomat who is best known for his participation in the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition.

George Mallory

MalloryGeorge H. Leigh MalloryGeorge Leigh Mallory
The expedition set off in April 1921 – the climbing team consisted of two experienced mountaineers, Harold Raeburn and Alexander Kellas, and two younger men, George Mallory and Guy Bullock, both Old Wykehamists without any Himalayan experience. Charles Howard-Bury led the 1921 expedition and George Mallory, who had never before been to Himalaya, was included in the team.
After the war, Mallory returned to Charterhouse but resigned in 1921 in order to join the first Everest expedition.

Joint Himalayan Committee

Mount Everest Committee
In January 1921 the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographical Society (of which Younghusband was now President) jointly set up the Mount Everest Committee to co-ordinate and fund the expedition.
The Mount Everest Committee was a body formed by the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographical Society to co-ordinate and finance the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition to Mount Everest and all subsequent British expeditions to climb the mountain until 1947.

Alexander Heron

Alexander M. HeronDr. A. M. Heron
The expedition team also included Sandy Wollaston, a naturalist and doctor, Alexander Heron, a geologist, Henry Morshead (also an Old Wykehamist) and Edward Wheeler, surveyors seconded from the army.
He participated in the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition following which he produced a geological map of the Everest region of Tibet.

Henry Morshead

Morshead
The expedition team also included Sandy Wollaston, a naturalist and doctor, Alexander Heron, a geologist, Henry Morshead (also an Old Wykehamist) and Edward Wheeler, surveyors seconded from the army.
He is remembered for several achievements – with Frederick Bailey he explored the Tsangpo Gorge and finally confirmed that the Yarlung Tsangpo flows into the Brahmaputra River after cascading through Himalaya; also he was a member of the 1921 and 1922 British Mount Everest expeditions and in 1922 he climbed to a height of over 25000 ft. His death was due to murder and the circumstances remain mysterious.

Charles Howard-Bury

C. K. Howard-BurySir Charles Howard-Bury
Charles Howard-Bury led the 1921 expedition and George Mallory, who had never before been to Himalaya, was included in the team.
In 1921 he was the leader of the Mount Everest Reconnaissance Expedition, organised and financed by the Mount Everest Committee, a joint body of the Alpine Club and the Royal Geographical Society.

North Col

It was then necessary to descend to the East Rongbuk Glacier before climbing again to Everest's North Col.
The North Col was first climbed by George Mallory, Edward Oliver Wheeler and Guy Bullock on 23 September 1921 during the British reconnaissance expedition.

Oliver Wheeler

E. O. WheelerEdward Oliver WheelerEdward Wheeler
The expedition team also included Sandy Wollaston, a naturalist and doctor, Alexander Heron, a geologist, Henry Morshead (also an Old Wykehamist) and Edward Wheeler, surveyors seconded from the army.
During this time he was a member of the 1921 Everest reconnaissance expedition, using photographic surveying techniques.

Francis Younghusband

Sir Francis YounghusbandYounghusbandColonel Francis Younghusband
Entry to Tibet, which had historically refused entry to foreigners, became possible due to Sir Francis Younghusband's imperial and exploratory activities, which culminated in his "Mission to Lhasa" and subsequent 1904 Treaty of Lhasa.
Younghusband was elected President of the Royal Geographical Society in 1919, and two years later became Chairman of the Mount Everest Committee which was set up to coordinate the initial 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest.

Harold Raeburn

The expedition set off in April 1921 – the climbing team consisted of two experienced mountaineers, Harold Raeburn and Alexander Kellas, and two younger men, George Mallory and Guy Bullock, both Old Wykehamists without any Himalayan experience.
Also in 1920, Raeburn joined an expedition to Kanchenjunga, and he was mountaineering leader on the initial 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition under the leadership of Colonel Charles Howard-Bury.

Sandy Wollaston

A. F. R. WollastonAlexander F. R. WollastonDr. Alexander Wollaston
The expedition team also included Sandy Wollaston, a naturalist and doctor, Alexander Heron, a geologist, Henry Morshead (also an Old Wykehamist) and Edward Wheeler, surveyors seconded from the army.
Wollaston took part (as doctor, ornithologist and botanist) in the 1921 British Reconnaissance Expedition to Mount Everest.

Rongbuk Glacier

RongbukEast Rongbuk GlacierRongbuk Formation
It was then necessary to descend to the East Rongbuk Glacier before climbing again to Everest's North Col.
The English climber George Mallory first explored the main Rongbuk Valley and its glacier while searching for possible routes to the summit of Mount Everest during the first British Everest reconnaissance expedition of 1921.

Alexander Kellas

A. M. KellasDr A. M. KellasDr Kellas
The expedition set off in April 1921 – the climbing team consisted of two experienced mountaineers, Harold Raeburn and Alexander Kellas, and two younger men, George Mallory and Guy Bullock, both Old Wykehamists without any Himalayan experience.
Kellas died of a heart attack in 1921 near the village of Kampa Dzong, Tibet, on his way from Sikkim to the first expedition to Everest.

Western Cwm

Valley of Silence
They eventually reached the unnamed col by going west up what is now known as the Pumori Glacier and so by 19 July were able to look down into the Western Cwm and the Khumbu Glacier.
It was named by George Mallory when he saw it in 1921 as part of the British Reconnaissance Expedition that was the first to explore the upper sections of Everest, searching for routes for future summit attempts; Cwm is Welsh for "valley".

Kharta

Kama valleyKama RiverKharda-chu
A feasible route was discovered from the east up the Kharta Glacier and then crossing the Lhakpa La pass north east of Everest.
The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition discovered Kharta when reconnoitring ways to climb Mount Everest and managed to reach the North Col via the Lhakpa La. Since that time Kharta has not been used as a way to approach the summit of Everest but the two valleys have become a popular area for trekking.

Lho La

Looking more to the west, two routes to Everest looked promising, one over the Lho La at the head of the Rongbuk glacier and one over an unnamed col between Pumori and Lingtren – the hope was that a valley to the south of these cols might provide a good route to the summit.
The first western explorers to discover the col were George Mallory and Guy Bullock on the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition although it was only Bullock who actually reached it. They were exploring the West Rongbuk Glacier in Tibet hoping it might give access to a route for reaching the summit of Everest.

1924 British Mount Everest expedition

1924 expedition19241924 Everest expedition
However, in 1923, three months before departing on the 1924 Everest expedition, he had still not received payment.
The first in 1921 was an exploratory expedition led by Harold Raeburn which described a potential route along the whole northeast ridge.

Lingtren

Looking more to the west, two routes to Everest looked promising, one over the Lho La at the head of the Rongbuk glacier and one over an unnamed col between Pumori and Lingtren – the hope was that a valley to the south of these cols might provide a good route to the summit.
During the 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition George Mallory and Guy Bullock were exploring the region to the north of Mount Everest hoping to find a route to the summit.

Shelkar

Shekar DzongShekarShelkar Dzong
Travelling on through Shekar Dzong they reached Tingri Dzong which became the base for the northern phase of their explorations.
The early British expeditions to Mount Everest in 1921, 1922 and 1924 all stopped at Shelkar Dzong on their way from Darjeeling to the northern side of Everest.

Kangshung Face

East Face
Ahead of them to the west they could see Lhotse and Everest as they approached the Kangshung Glacier and the Kangshung Face.
In 1921, George Mallory and Guy Bullock were the first Westerners to witness and survey the Kangshung Face, as a part of the initial 1921 British reconnaissance expedition which had gained permission for the first-time ever from the Dalai Lama of Tibet to attempt ascents of Everest.

First ascent

first ascentsfirst climbedfirst free ascent
The 1921 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition set off to explore how it might be possible to get to the vicinity of Mount Everest, to reconnoitre possible routes for ascending the mountain, and – if possible – make the first ascent of the highest mountain in the world.

Nepal

🇳🇵NepaleseFederal Democratic Republic of Nepal
At that time Nepal was closed to foreigners, so any approach had to be from the north, through Tibet.