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In 1955, Dr. Charles Evans' party conquered Kanchenjunga, a mountain eighty miles east of Everest. A huge, independent mountain mass that receives the first and heaviest discharges from the monsoon, the first winter snow falls, it had not been ""kind"" to its previous courters, whose ""courageous and unprecedented reconnaissance"" formed the base for the successful assault. John Tucker was among the 1954 party who investigated the Southwest approach to the mountain. His story of the climb (preceded by an account of earlier expeditions as far back as 1849) has humanity and humor alongside the grimmer realities of an ordeal that left the party burned black by the sun, with flesh frozen away, their hair and beards matted. Alongside the danger of avalanches there were the flirtatious Sherpanis, and while members of the party assayed a new route, others might stay in camp putting a chemistry set (doctor's baggage) in order or caring for other gear. While not denying the serious aspects of the proceedings, the author manages an engagingly light touch. Nevertheless, except for devotees, the book may fall by the wayside; its party did not win the prize.

Pub Date: Feb. 6th, 1966
Publisher: Abelard-Schuman