Centenary exhibition of first Everest attempt opens in Shoreditch

Centenary exhibition for first Everest attempts 

Centenary exhibition for first Everest attempts - Credit: Alpine Club

Secrets about the first failed bid to conquer Everest 100 years ago have gone on show in Shoreditch to mark its centenary. 

The Alpine Club is mounting a public display at its east London base camp HQ from June 22 with never-before-seen photographs, documents and artefacts from several expedition attempts in the 1920s. 

1924 expedition when Irvine and Mallory (standing, left) both died

1924 expedition when Irvine and Mallory (standing, left) both died. - Credit: John Noel

The attempts include George Mallory and Sandy Irvine, who died in 1924 in pursuit of getting to the top of the world’s tallest mountain.  

“These men lived in the true age of exploration,” renowned mountaineer and former Alpine Club president John Porter said. “They were driven by the need to escape the aftermath of the Great War and a desire to be the first to reach the ‘third pole’ by incredible bravery.” 

Last day of 1921 expedition camp at 19,000ft, with 200-mile march back to Darjeeling

Last day of 1921 expedition camp at 19,000ft, with 200-mile march back to Darjeeling - Credit: Howard Somervell

It wasn’t until 1953 that New Zealander Edmund Hillary, later knighted, and Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay finally made the summit 29,000ft above sea level at 11.30am on May 29.  


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Everest: By Those Who Were There will be at the Alpine Club, Charlotte Street, off Great Eastern Street, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 12 noon to 5.30pm until October 17, but closed during August.

Booking only because of Covid restrictions - email: admin@alpine-club.org.uk. 

Finch testing oxygen equipment in 1922.

Finch testing oxygen equipment in 1922. - Credit: Alpine Club

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