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Item #: OP001C-524
THE ASCENT OF EVEREST. John Hunt. SIGNED by Alfred Gregory. 1953 1st UK ed DJ Fine
By Hunt, John
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Detailed Product Description


Signed by Alfred Gregory.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:


Alfred Gregory (12 February 1913 – 9 February 2010) was a British mountaineer, explorer and professional photographer. A member of the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition that made the first ascent of Mount Everest, he was in charge of stills photography and, as a climbing member of the team, reached 28,000 feet (8,500 metres) in support of the successful Hillary-Tenzing assault on the summit.

Early life

Gregory was educated at Blackpool Grammar School in England. Before World War II he climbed extensively in the Lake District of England, Scotland and the Alps, and during the 1940s he led several new routes in Britain. During the war he was an officer in the Black Watch, serving in North Africa and Italy. In 1952 he joined Eric Shipton’s Cho Oyu expedition and during the 1950s he led several expeditions to Rolwaling and the Gauri Sankar massif, where 19 peaks were climbed and a plane table survey was made, and to Ama Dablam, Distigil Sar, the Karakoram and the Cordillera Blanca in Peru.

Photography

For 20 years he worked freelance for Kodak UK, lecturing on photography and presenting his pictures to large audiences throughout Britain and Europe.


He spent a lifetime traveling on photographic assignments around the world and his pictures were regularly syndicated to 35 countries. Along with his wife Sue he produced many photo-journalistic picture stories through the Tom Blau Camera Press News Agency in London. His work has been exhibited throughout Britain, France, Belgium, America, Africa, Poland and Australia.


In 2002 they held a joint exhibition at the 80 Gold Street Gallery, in Collingwood, Victoria, with photographs of 'Walls, Doors and Windows'.


Death


Gregory died 'peacefully in his sleep' on 9 February 2010 in Emerald, Victoria, where he spent the last 15 years of his life with wife Suzanne. He was three days shy of his 97th birthday.

About the book, the ascent, and John Hunt:

London, 1953, 1st UK edition. 300 pp, 48 plates. The official account of the first ascent of Mount Everest; this is the first book written about the climb. Chapter 16 on the on final assault was written by Edmund Hillary. Original blue cloth hardcover with gold lettering on spine; nice dust jacket with only minor edge wear; book is Fine.

This copy also contains a September 1975 newspaper clipping about the first ascent of Everest via the South-West Face by Dougal Haston and Doug Scott.

On May 29, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first human beings to conquer Mount Everest -- Chomolungma, to its people -- at 29,028 ft. the highest place on earth. By conquering Everest, the beekeeper and the Sherpa affirmed the power of humble determination -- and won one for underdogs everywhere.

By any rational standards, this was no big deal. Aircraft had long before flown over the summit, and within a few decades literally hundreds of other people from many nations would climb Everest too. And what is particularly remarkable, anyway, about getting to the top of a mountain? Geography was not furthered by the achievement, scientific progress was scarcely hastened, and nothing new was discovered. Yet the names of Hillary and Tenzing went instantly into all languages as the names of heroes, partly because they really were men of heroic mold but chiefly because they represented so compellingly the spirit of their time.

The world of the early 1950s was still a little punch-drunk from World War II, which had ended less than a decade before. Everything was changing. Great old powers were falling, virile new ones were rising, and the huge, poor mass of Asia and Africa was stirring into self-awareness. Hillary and Tenzing went to the Himalayas under the auspices of the British Empire, then recognizably in terminal decline.

The expedition was the British Everest Expedition, 1953, and it was led by Colonel John Hunt, the truest of true English gentlemen. It was proper to the historical moment that one of the two climbers immortalized by the event came from a remote former colony of the Crown and the other from a nation that had long served as a buffer state of the imperial Raj.

ABOUT JOHN HUNT:

John Hunt was born in India, and educated at Marlborough College and at Sandhurst. After a distinguished military career in India and Europe, he led the first successful expedition to climb Mount Everest and was knighted. He also led the British party in the British-Soviet Caucasian mountaineering expedition (1958), and was involved in mountaineering expeditions in western Europe, the Middle East, Himalayas, Greenland, Russia, Greece and Poland. From its inception in 1956, he was director of the Duke of Edinburgh's award scheme and was created a life peer for services to youth on his retirement in 1966. He then became chairman of the Parole Board of England and Wales (1967-1974) and the National Association of Probation Officers (1974-1980) and championed penal reform. He became a Knight of the Garter in 1979. His publications include The Ascent of Everest (1953), Red Snows, Our Everest Adventure, In Search of Adventure, and his autobiography, Life is Meeting.


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