I HOLD THE HEIGHTS by Peter Mulgrew


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This is the story of Peter Mulgrew's part in the Himalayan Scientific and Mountaineering Expedition, 1960-61, which was led by Sir Edmund Hillary. Hillary himself has recorded a full-scale account of this expedition in his High in the Thin Cold Air. Mulgrew's story is personal and ends with his losing both feet and his subsequent rehabilitation. The primary objective of the expedition was physiological research into responses of the human body at high altitudes. The members spent a winter at 20,000 feet, acclimatizing themselves, then pushed on to the summit of Mount Malaku (27,790 feet) without oxygen tanks. This was to make Malaku the highest peak ever scaled without oxygen. As events proved, scaling Malaku's summit without oxygen is not worth the risks involved, for physical deterioration comes on too rapidly at these heights. Three members including Hillary were stricken with severe illnesses and it is evident that oxygen alone finally saved their lives. Some amusing moments come when attempts are made to capture a Yeti, or Abominable Snowman. Mulgrew's hospital pages about losing his feet and the courage of his wife pierce the sympathies.

Pub Date: March 19th, 1965
Publisher: Doubleday