NEClimbs - information for New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont rock and ice climbers
Current conditions in North Conway, NH at 11:28p on 07/22/14 - Temperature: 78.6 F - Wind speed: 0.0 mph - Wind chill: 78.6 F - Barometric pressure: 29.391 in - 3 Hour Barometer Trend: Falling Slowly - Humidity: 100 %
BugCON 2: some mosquitoes, possible blackflys swarming with minimal biting
2 out of a possible 5
The Home of New England Climbing
Rock On outdoor clothingBagels PlusCathedral Mountain GuidesInternational Mountain Climbing SchoolNew England Mountain Guides
Fearless On Everest, The Quest for Sandy Irvine
Rating product rating
Contact: The Mountaineers
Fearless On Everest, The Quest for Sandy Irvine<br />Julie Summers
Last 5 Reviews
Kincos Lined Grain Pigskin Leather Glove with Knit Wrist
NAO Rechargeable headlamp
Tough Schist - Rock Climbing in Northern Vermont
North Conway Rock Climbs
Wild Country Helium Friends
more...

Fearless On Everest, The Quest for Sandy Irvine
Julie Summers
The Mountaineers
$18.95

As a rapacious 10 year old I came across a Readers Digest Condensed Book on my grandparents porch containing an abridged version of Edmund Hillary's "High Adventure." I still remember Ed Hillary's words as he stood on the summit:

"Inevitably my thoughts turned to Mallory and Irvine who had lost their lives on the mountain thirty years before. With little hope I looked around for some sign that they had reached the summit, but could see nothing."

43 years later, reading Julie Summers' biography of Sandy Irvine brought back the same sense of mystery I felt all those years ago.

Little has been written about Irvine other than a short history by his younger brother Alec, published in Herbert Carr's '79 book, "The Irvine Diaries." Here we finally have a real biography containing the intimate details of his too-brief life: the relationship with his formidable mother Lilian, an affair with the wife of a family friend, success with the Oxford crew, indisputable proof of his considerable engineering talents and much more. These combine to provide the picture of Irvine the man that has been missing all these years. New information about the sea voyage to India, the long overland trek to Everest basecamp and even events leading right up his and Mallory's disappearance are supplied - most taken from 11 newly found letters to his mother, as well as his and others' letters and expedition diaries. Two examples include how his sunburned face was so severely chafed by the tight oxygen mask that every time he took it off the skin would peel away and the wonderful engineering drawings of his radical modifications to the 1922 oxygen apparatus he did while on the trip are both revealing.

Julie Summers delivers a well researched and highly readable book. I would have loved it if she had included the copies of the original letters and diaries, but I can only hope that these are printed in the future. Although she obviously can't supply the answer to the ultimate mystery, she does deliver insights into the character of Sandy Irvine and other expedition members that you won't find anywhere else. "Fearless On Everest" presents a new level of detail about the '24 expedition and its participants that is captivating.

Conclusion:  If you are a Everest aficionado it is a must-have, and even if you're not it makes a great read.

Details: B&W photos, softcover, ISBN #: 0-89886-796-7

Al Hospers
February 2002

NEClimbs on Facebook
NEClimbs on Facebook
RSS Reader Feed
RSS Feed for NEClimbs, the New England rock and ice climbing resource
Mooney Mountain Guides
Hyperlite Mountain Gear
The Rumney Village Store
International Mountain Equipment
Adventure Spirit: Rock+Ice+Alpine Experiences
NorthEast Mountaineering
Sponsors & Donors
View Current List