Eric Earle Shipton, CBE (1 August 1907 – 28 March 1977), was an English Himalayan mountaineer.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations, and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.
Shipton was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1907 where his father, a tea planter, died before he was three years old. When he was eight, his mother brought him to London for his education. When he failed the entrance exam to Harrow School, his mother sent him to Pyt House School in Wiltshire. His first encounter with mountains was at 15 when he visited the Pyrenees with his family.The next summer he spent travelling in Norway with a school friend and within a year he had begun climbing seriously.
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is an island country in South Asia, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. The island is geographically separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. The legislative capital, Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte, is a suburb of the commercial capital and largest city, Colombo.
Harrow School is Public School for boys in Harrow, London, England. The School was founded in 1572 by John Lyon under a Royal Charter of Elizabeth I, and is one of the original seven public schools that were regulated by the Public Schools Act 1868. Harrow charges up to £12,850 per term, with three terms per academic year (2017/18). Harrow is the fourth most expensive boarding school in the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference.
Wiltshire is a county in South West England with an area of 3,485 km2. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. The county town was originally Wilton, after which the county is named, but Wiltshire Council is now based in the county town of Trowbridge.
In 1928 he went to Kenya as a coffee grower and first climbed Nelion, a peak of Mount Kenya, in 1929. It was also in Kenya's community of Europeans where he met his future climbing partners Bill Tilman and Percy Wyn-Harris. Together with Wyn-Harris, he climbed the twin peaks of Mount Kenya. With Frank Smythe, Shipton was amongst the first climbers to stand on the summit of Kamet, 7756 metres, in 1931, the highest peak climbed at that time. Shipton was involved with most of the Mount Everest expeditions during the 1930s and later, including Hugh Ruttledge's 1933 Mount Everest expedition and the follow-up in 1936, the 1935 Mount Everest expedition which was Shipton's first as leader and the first for Tenzing Norgay, and the pioneering 1951 Mount Everest expedition which chalked out the now famous route over the Khumbu Glacier. Shipton and Tilman also discovered the access route to the Nanda Devi sanctuary through the Rishi Ganga gorge in 1934. Their shoe-string budget expedition operated in the Kumaon-Garhwal mountains continuously from pre-monsoon to post-monsoon, and set a record for single-expedition achievement that has never been equalled.
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa with 47 semiautonomous counties governed by elected governors. At 580,367 square kilometres (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world's 48th largest country by total area. With a population of more than 52.2 million people, Kenya is the 27th most populous country. Kenya's capital and largest city is Nairobi while its oldest city and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.
Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana. Mount Kenya is located in the former Eastern and central provinces of Kenya, now Meru, Embu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nyeri and Tharaka Nithi counties, about 16.5 kilometres (10.3 mi) south of the equator, around 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
Major Harold William "Bill" Tilman, CBE, DSO, MC and Bar, was an English mountaineer and explorer, renowned for his Himalayan climbs and sailing voyages.
During the Second World War, Shipton was appointed as HM Consul at Kashgar in western China, where he remained from 1940 to 1942, then after a brief spell in England was assigned to work in Persia as a "Cereal Liaison Officer" for 20 months during 1943–44. Next he was posted as an attache to the British Military Mission in Hungary as an "agricultural adviser" which position saw him through until the end of the War.
Kashgar, officially known as Kashi, is an oasis city in Xinjiang, People's Republic of China. It is one of the westernmost cities of China, near the border with Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. With a population of over 500,000, Kashgar has served as a trading post and strategically important city on the Silk Road between China, the Middle East, and Europe for over 2,000 years.
In 1946 Shipton returned to Kashgar as Consul General, and during a visit from Bill Tilman they tried to climb Muztagh Ata, 7546 metres, reaching the broad summit dome. In 1947 Shipton explored and named Shipton's Arch. He took the opportunity of his Kashgar posting to explore other Central Asian mountains.The first western exploration of the Rolwaling Himal was made by Shipton in 1951 during the reconnaissance of Mount Everest. While exploring the Barun gorge he named Island Peak. In the 1951 Everest expedition, Shipton and Dr Michael Ward also took photographs of the footprints of what may have been the Yeti (Abominable Snowman), an ice axe being included in the photographs to show scale. Because of his belief in the efficacy of small expeditions as compared to military-style 'sieges', Shipton was stepped down from the leadership of the 1953 Everest expedition, along with Andrew Croft, in favour of Major John Hunt: "I leave London absolutely shattered", he wrote. Between the years 1953 and 1957 he worked at a variety of jobs. Shipton worked as Warden of the Outward Bound Mountain school at Eskdale until the failure of his marriage with his wife, Diana. He worked on farms, collected his CBE, and in 1957 led a group of students from the Imperial College of Science to the Karakoram.
Muztagh Ata, or Muztagata, is the second highest of the mountains which form the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. It is sometimes regarded as being part of the Kunlun Mountains, although physically it is more closely connected to the Pamirs. It is also one of the relatively easier 7,000 m peaks in the world to climb, due to its gentle western slope and the comparatively drier weather of Xinjiang, though a thorough acclimatization period and a very strong physical condition are crucial for success.
Shipton's Arch (Uyghur: تۆشۈك تاغ, ULY: Töshük tagh, UYY: Tɵxük taƣ, USY: Төшүк тағ , literally "Hole Mountain"; simplified Chinese: 阿图什天门; traditional Chinese: 阿圖什天門; pinyin: Ātúshí tiānmén; Wade–Giles: A1t'u2shih2 t'ien1men2; literally: 'Artux Heavenly Gate' or simply simplified Chinese: 天门; traditional Chinese: 天門; pinyin: Tiānmén; Wade–Giles: T'ien1men2; literally: 'Heavenly Gate') is a conglomerate natural arch in China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. It is located in Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture west-northwest of Kashgar, near the village of Artux, at an altitude of 2,973 metres (9,754 ft).
Rolwāling Himāl, , knows as a (Gaurishankar) rural municipality, is a section of the Himalayas in east-central Nepal along the Tibet border. Rolwaling Himal includes Melungtse 7181m and Melungtse II 7023m inside Tibet and Gaurishankar 7134m on the Nepal border with some 50 additional peaks over 6000m, all extending from the Nangpa La pass where the Mahalangur section begins, southwest to the Tamakosi River. The Labuche Himal section rises beyond the Tamakosi to the northwest. Rolwaling Himal is bounded on the south by the Rolwaling Valley which contain several small sherpa's villages, the largest town in the area. It would take five to six days to reach Namche Bazaar after pass Tasilapcha. Visitors can trek to Everest base camp or trek to Lukla and fly to Kathmandu
For the last decade of his life, Shipton continued to travel, supporting himself by lecturing and acting as a celebrity guide. He completed the second volume of his autobiography, That Untravelled World, in 1969. He visited the Galapagos Islands, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, Rhodesia, Kenya, Chile, Bhutan and Nepal. Whilst staying in Bhutan in 1976, he fell ill; on his return to England, he was diagnosed with cancer to which he succumbed in March 1977. He was cremated in Salisbury and his ashes were scattered on Fonthill Lake in Wiltshire.
Rhodesia was an unrecognised state in southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England, with a population of 40,302, at the confluence of the rivers Avon, Nadder, Ebble, Wylye and Bourne. The city is approximately 20 miles (32 km) from Southampton and 30 miles (48 km) from Bath.
Fonthill Lake is a lake in southwest Wiltshire, England.
Shipton's grand-daughter Zoe Shipton is an eminent geologist.
Sir Christian John Storey Bonington, CVO, CBE, DL is a British mountaineer.
Nanda Devi is the second highest mountain in India, and the highest located entirely within the country. It is the 23rd-highest peak in the world. It was considered the highest mountain in the world before computations in 1808 proved Dhaulagiri to be higher. It was also the highest mountain in India until 1975 when Sikkim, the state in which Kangchenjunga is located, joined the Republic of India. It is part of the Garhwal Himalayas, and is located in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, between the Rishiganga valley on the west and the Goriganga valley on the east. The peak, whose name means "Bliss-Giving Goddess", is regarded as the patron-goddess of the Uttarakhand Himalaya. In acknowledgment of its religious significance and for the protection of its fragile ecosystem, the peak as well as the circle of high mountains surrounding it—the Nanda Devi sanctuary—were closed to both locals and climbers in 1983. The surrounding Nanda Devi National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
Kamet is the second highest mountain in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, after Nanda Devi. It lies in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. Its appearance resembles a giant pyramid topped by a flat summit area with two peaks.
Changtse is a mountain situated between the Main Rongbuk and East Rongbuk Glaciers in Tibet, China, immediately north of Mount Everest. It is connected to Mount Everest via the North Col.
Mera Peak is a mountain in the Mahalangur section, Barun sub-section of the Himalaya and administratively in Nepal's Sagarmatha Zone, Solukhumbu District. At 6,476 metres (21,247 ft) it is classified as a trekking peak. It contains three main summits: Mera North, 6,476 metres (21,247 ft); Mera Central, 6,461 metres (21,198 ft); and Mera South, 6,065 metres (19,898 ft), as well as a smaller "trekking summit", visible as a distinct summit from the south but not marked on most maps of the region.
Francis Sydney Smythe, better known as Frank Smythe or F. S. Smythe, was an English mountaineer, author, photographer and botanist. He is best remembered for his mountaineering in the Alps as well as in the Himalayas, where he identified a region that he named the "Valley of Flowers", now a protected park. His ascents include two new routes on the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc, Kamet, and attempts on Kangchenjunga and Mount Everest in the 1930s. It was said that he had a tendency for irascibility, something some of his mountaineering contemporaries said "decreased with altitude". Smythe was educated in Switzerland after an initial period at Berkhamsted School, trained as an electrical engineer and worked for brief periods with the Royal Air Force and Kodak before devoting himself to writing and public lecturing. Smythe enjoyed mountaineering, photography, collecting plants, and gardening; he toured as a lecturer; and he wrote a total of twenty seven books. Smythe's focused approach is well documented, not only through his own writings, but by his contemporaries and later works.
Thomas Duncan Bourdillon, known as Tom Bourdillon, was an English mountaineer, a member of the 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition which made the first ascent of Mount Everest.
In the history of mountaineering, the world altitude record referred to the highest point on the Earth's surface which had been reached, regardless of whether that point was an actual summit. The world summit record referred to the highest mountain to have been successfully climbed. The terms are most commonly used in relation to the history of mountaineering in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges, though modern evidence suggests that it was not until the 20th century that mountaineers in the Himalaya exceeded the heights which had been reached in the Andes. The altitude and summit records rose steadily during the early 20th century until 1953, when the ascent of Mount Everest made the concept obsolete.
Lingtren, 6,749 metres (22,142 ft), is a mountain in the Mahalangur Himal area of Himalaya, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) distant in a direct line from Mount Everest. It lies on the international border between Nepal and the Tibet Autonomous Region of China and it was first climbed in 1935. A mountain nearby to the west was originally named Lingtrennup but is now more commonly called Xi Lingchain.
Precipitated by unexpected permission from Tibet, the 1935 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition was planned at short notice as a preliminary to an attempt on the summit of Mount Everest in 1936. After exceptionally rancorous arguments involving the Mount Everest Committee in London, Eric Shipton was appointed leader following his successful trekking style of expedition to the Nanda Devi region in India in 1934.
Leslie Vickery Bryant, known as Dan Bryant, was a New Zealand school teacher and a mountain climber. He was a member of the 1935 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition, which was a preliminary to the full expedition of 1936 that attempted the summit. However in 1935 Bryant did not acclimatise well to altitude above 23,000 feet (7,000 m), and so was not included in the party for 1936. He was a very accomplished ice climber, and was well-liked on expeditions. These two factors led, indirectly, to his compatriot Edmund Hillary becoming a member of the successful 1953 British Mount Everest expedition.
The 1936 British Mount Everest expedition was a complete failure, and raised questions concerning the planning of such expeditions. This was Hugh Ruttledge's second expedition as leader. Heavy snows and an early monsoon forced their retreat on several occasions, and on the final attempt two climbers narrowly survived an avalanche. This was the first expedition in which climbers were able to carry portable radios.
Raymond Leslie Burrows Colledge was a climber and mountaineer who was a member of the British 1952 Cho Oyu expedition and made the third British ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in 1969.
Led by Bill Tilman, the 1938 British Mount Everest expedition was a low-key, low-cost expedition which was unlucky in encountering a very early monsoon. The weather conditions defeated the attempts to reach the summit. The North Col was climbed for the first time from the west and an altitude of 27,200 feet (8,300 m) was reached on the North Ridge.
The Shipton–Tilman Nanda Devi expeditions took place in the 1930s. Nanda Devi is a Himalayan mountain in what was then the Garhwal District in northern India, just west of Nepal, and at one time it was thought to be the highest mountain in the world.
Ang Tharkay was a Nepalese mountain climber and explorer who acted as sherpa and later sirdar for many Himalayan expeditions. He was "beyond question the outstanding sherpa of his era" and he introduced Tenzing Norgay to the world of mountaineering.
After World War II, with Tibet closing its borders and Nepal becoming considerably more open, Mount Everest reconnaissance from Nepal became possible for the first time culminating in the successful ascent of 1953. In 1950 there was a highly informal trek to what was to become Everest Base Camp and photographs were taken of a possible route ahead. Next year the 1951 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition reconnoitred various possible routes to Mount Everest from the south and the only one they considered feasible was the one via the Khumbu Icefall, Western Cwm and South Col. In 1952, while the Swiss were making an attempt on the summit that nearly succeeded; the 1952 British Cho Oyu expedition practised high-altitude Himalayan techniques on Cho Oyu, nearby to the west.
The 1951 British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition ran between 27 August 1951 and 21 November 1951 with Eric Shipton as leader.
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