RUTTLEDGE, Hugh. Everest 1933. London, Hodder & Stoughton Limited, 1934.
8vo. Original cloth gilt, illustrated dust-wrapper (with loss); pp. xiii, , 390; photographic frontispiece in sepia, 58 sepia photographic plates, 3 diagrams in text, 4 maps, including 3 large folding; light wear to cloth; internally a few spots, inscription to flyleaf, a good copy.
First edition. The official account of the fourth expedition to Everest, led by Hugh Ruttledge with a team that included Frank Smythe, Eric Shipton, Wyn Harris, and L.R. Wager. Harris and Wager made a summit attempt from the famous Camp VI, reaching 28,200 feet in attempting to determine whether the northeast ridge was climbable. During this climb they came upon the ice-axe of either Mallory or Irvine, lost nine years before on their fateful climb. Harris and Wager found the 'second step' unclimbable and had to revert to a traverse of the face, when time ran out. On the return to the high camp Wager struggled to the crest of the ridge and became the first man to look down the awesome east face of Everest.
Classics of Mountaineering Literature 33; Neate R99; Yakushi R213a; Perret 3830.
Provenance: From the library of the mountaineer and soldier Tony Streather (1926-2018), who had come 'to mountain climbing by chance. Staying on in the subcontinent after independence and partition between India and Pakistan, as aide-de-camp to the governor of North West Frontier Province, Streather was the last British officer serving under a Pakistani commanding officer when, in 1950, a Norwegian expedition led by the ecologist Arne Næss arrived in the region with the intention of climbing Tirich Mir (7,708m), the highest mountain in the Hindu Kush' (obiturary in The Guardian). Further high-altitude exploits included joining the 1953 American Karakoram Expedition to K-2 (reaching 7,800m), and participating in the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world in 1955. This made him the first man ever to climb two peaks of over 25,000 feet.