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Item #: OP1759B-873
KAMET CONQUERED Frank Smythe 1932 1st ed Hardcover Rare Dust Jacket Near Fine
By Smythe, Frank
Price: $175.00

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London, 1932, 1st edition. 420 pp, 50 b/w plates, foldout expedition map. The rare dust jacket is lightly soiled and has a 1 inch chip on the spine bottom, and smaller ones on top, front and back. These chips are visible in our image. It is not price clipped. The dust jacket is otherwise in remarkably good condition for a 90 year old Frank Smythe Dust Jacket. Book is utterly fine. Overall a Near Fine copy of this classic book.

Smythe's ascent of Kamet was the highest peak climbed at the time. It was the best climb of his career.

Frank Sydney Smythe was an extremely gifted and well-travelled mountaineer who wrote many very popular books about mountaineering during the first half of the last century. He achieved prominence in mountaineering circles following two impressive seasons in the Alps in 1927 and 1928. He subsequently climbed extensively in the Himalayas.

In 1931 F Smythe and other members of the expedition climbed Kamet in the Himalayas which at 25,442-feet was the highest mountain then climbed. Following that success he was invited to join the 1933 British Mount Everest Expedition during which he climbed to 28,200 feet on the north side of the mountain without oxygen.

It was on this 1933 Everest expedition that Irvine's ice axe was discovered and in a way was responsible for the feverish speculation as to whether they did summit and also the constant searches that have been made for Mallory’s body and now Sandy Irvine’s.

Kamet Conquered was published by Gollancz in 1932 which was the then highest mountain climbed. The summit was reached only two weeks after arrival in the base camp but this is because the long approach on foot probably allowed for good acclimatization. For five years, it remained the highest mountain climbed until Nanda Devi (7816 m) was reached by a British-American expedition. The mountain since then has for large periods of time been closed to foreigners because it is located very close to the Tibetan border and only Indian military expeditions have been allowed there and who rarely publish much by way of detailed reports.

Smythe's book remains the best reading about Kamet. It is also a marvelous book not only because of Smythe’s wonderful, if occasionally flowery writing, but he is acknowledged as one of the great mountain photographers and the book is illustrated with his photos. 

Kamet

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kamet is the second highest mountain in the Garhwal region of India, after Nanda Devi, 7,816 m (25,643 ft). It lies in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, close to the border with Tibet. t is the third highest mountain in India (according to India however,t he rank is much lower as it includes in its list of mountains all those in Pakistan occupied Kashmir), and the 29th highest in the world. Kamet is most properly considered part of (and the highest summit in)the Zaskar (or Zanskar) Range, which lies north of the main chain of the Himalaya, between the Suru River and the upper Karnali River. In appearance it resembles a giant pyramid topped by a flat summit area with two peaks.

Due to its position near the Tibetan Plateau, Kamet is remote and not as accessible as some Himalayan peaks. It also receives a great deal of wind from the Plateau. However, by modern standards, it is a relatively straightforward ascent for such a high mountain. Early explorers of the region faced long approach marches of around 200 miles from Ranikhet through dense mountain forest; access is easier today.

While attempts to climb Kamet began in 1855, the first ascent was not made until 1931 by Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton, R.L. Holdsworth and Lewa Sherpa, members of a British expedition. Kamet was the first summit over 25,000 ft (7,620m) to be climbed, and was the highest summit reached until the first ascent of Nanda Devi five years later. (However, far higher non-summit altitudes had been reached on the north side of Mount Everest in the 1920s.)

The standard route begins from the East Kamet (or Purbi Kamet)Glacier, ascending via Meade's Col (c. 7,100m/23,300 ft), the saddle between Kamet and its northern outlier Abi Gamin. From Meade's Col the route ascends the northeast edge of the north face. The ascent to Meade's col involves steep gullies, a rock wall, and several glacier climbs. Five camps are usually placed en route. The final ascent to the summit involves steep snow, possibly icy.

Partial Kamet Climbing timeline

1848: Richard Strachey determines the height and location of Kamet, as well as the neighboring peaks Abi Gamin, Mukut Parbat, and Mana.

1855: German explorers and scientists Adolphe and Robert Schlagintweit, invited by the East India Company to make surveys, travel into Tibet in disguise. After being discovered and arrested, they return, and attempt Abi Gamin from Tibet (via the Abi Gamin Glacier), believing it to be Kamet. (This mistake hampers expeditions until 1912.) They claim to reach a height of 6,785 m (22,260 ft), which is extraordinary for this date.

1877: I. S. Pocock of the Survey of India, under E. C. Ryall, accurately surveys Kamet's position. However he supports the inaccurate belief that Abi Gamin is a minor subpeak of Kamet and that a northern route to the summit is practical.

1907: Dr. T. G. Longstaff, Brig. Gen. C. G. Bruce and A. L. Mumm, with alpine guides Alexis and Henri Brocherel, make a preliminary reconnaissance of the eastern and western sides of Kamet. The highest point reached is 6,100 m (20,000ft) above the East Kamet Glacier. Longstaff deems the East Kamet route as too dangerous due to avalanche risk.

1910-1911: C. F. Meade, with Alpine guides Alexis Brocherel and Pierre Blanc, and a separate expedition under Dr. A. M. Kellas, make a preliminary reconnaissance of the western side of the peak; they explore Khaiam Pass and Glacier.

1911: Capt. A. M. Slingsby attempt Kamet on the western side from Ghastoli Glacier (or West Kamet Glacier) via the col on the ridge between Abi Gamin and Mukut Parbat (subsequently named as Slingsby’s Col, 6,400 m/21,000 ft).

1912: Meade, with Alpine guides Pierre Blanc, Franz Lochmatter, Justin Blanc and Jean Perrin, attempts Kamet by Slingsby's route, and also late explores the Raikhana glacier system to the east of Kamet. Meade concludes that the East Kamet Glacier is the only practicable route to Mt Kamet's summit.

1913: Slingsby attempts the same route as in 1911 and reaches 7,000 m (23,000 ft). (He later dies in battle in Mesopotamia in 1916.)

1913: Meade, with Alpine guide Pierre Blanc, attempts Kamet from the eastern side 
and reaches Meade’s Col, 7,138 m. (23,420 ft).

1914: Kellas makes another reconnaissance of which no records are available, and which is probably abandoned midway due to the commencement of World War I.

1920: Kellas and Col. H. T. Morshead attempt Meade's 1913 route and reach a point slightly above Meade’s Col.

1931: The first ascent of Kamet, detailed above.

1937: Frank Smythe returns to the Bhyundar Valley and makes the solo first ascent of Manaon August 12, through its south ridge from the plateau at the head of the Uttari Naktoni glacier. His companion P.R. Oliver stopped exhausted at 23000'.

1950: An Anglo-Swiss expedition ascends Abi Gamin from its North East ridge.

1951: Mukut Parbat is climbed via the steep northwest ridge by a crack New Zealand team that includes Edmund Hillary, George Lowe, H. E. Riddiford (leader), F. M. Cotter and Pasang Dawa Lama. Summitters were Riddiford, Cotter and Pasang Dawa Lama.

1955: An Indian expedition from the Himalayan MountaineeringInstitute in Darjeeling makes the second ascent of Kamet on July 6.Major Narendra D. Jayal led the party; Jayal, Ang Tharkay, Da Namgyal,Ang Temba, and Hlakpa Dorje comprised the summit team. Their route followed the ridge linking Abi Gamin and Kamet.

1966: Mana is climbed on September 19 by a new route, the NW ridge from Purbi Kamet glacier which had rebuffed Smythe in 1937, by Pranesh Chakraborty, Pasang Phutar, Tshering Lhakpa, Pasang Tshering from Camp 5 (c.22500').

1995: Mana Northwest is scaled by members of a joint Indo Tibetan Border Police–Japanese expedition after a tough technical wall climb.

2000: To mark the turn of century, Ruptaps Mountaineering Club from Asansol, West Bengal climbed Kamet on 3rd Oct, 2000. The summiters were Leader Gautam Mukherjee and Jasbir Singh.

2006: A commemorative 75th anniversary expedition by the Kolkata Section of the Himalayan Club puts ten climbers on the summit of Kamet. First ascensionist Frank Smythe was a Himalayan Club member.

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