Lynne and David - Everest Base Camp . . . . . Tibet 2016
Where has time gone since October? Just an update blog to explain why I have been unable to blog for a couple of months. Lynne and I are currently on another journey which we didnt expect when stood at Everest Base Camp in Tibet in May! Lynne was diagnosed with cancer in late September. The cancer has affected her mobility and she is now in a wheelchair. She undergoes chemotherapy every three weeks. Lynne is an amazing woman and is bravely battling the cancer. So life has taken an unexpected turn. As you will appreciate each day is taken up with routines that leave little time for anything else. I will do my best to add blogs to 'Beyond the Sacred Mountains' when time permits. Thank you to all of you who have continued to visit my website while I have been out of action. Also a huge thank you to family, friends and church who are holding us in their prayers at this time. So below you will find a short blog about my hero, George Mallory, whose book 'Climbing Everest' I have just re-read. George coined the most famous words in mountaineering when answering why this mountain: "Because it is there!" I hope you enjoy it!
'Climbing Everest - The Complete Writings of George Mallory' has enabled me to feel the passion George had for the highest mountain in the world. Peter Gillman, who wrote the introduction to the book, writes on the inside cover . . . . .
"Mallory was unique in drawing a new literature from his mountain craft. For him, as for his predecessors, earth was still a heroic place with hidden parts promising novel experiences while the eyes of history were trained upon them.
But he was strongly inspired by the Bloomsbury group, unlike previous explorers, and a talented writer and poet. He chose to break with the Edwardian laconic stiff upper lip in favour of emotional truthfullness about the art of climbing. The result created a novel branch of mountaineering literature, as fresh and vivid as the feelings he recorded in handwriting under the most harrowingly extreme mountain-top conditions."
I took this photograph from the moraine of the Rongbuk Glacier in May 2016. You can clearly see the north-east ridge rising to the summit pyramid of Everest. It was on these upper ramparts that Mallory and Irvine disappeared in 1924.
"Even before the first glimmer of dawn the snow-mantled, slumbering monsters around us had somehow been touched to life by a faint blue light showing their form and presence - a light that changed as the day grew to a pale yellow on Everest and then to a bright blue-grey before it flamed all golden as the sun hit the summit and the shadow crept perceptibly down the slope until the whole mountain stood bare and splendid in the morning glory."
'Climbing Everest' is an excellent book. Being able to read George's writing has enabled me to feel the excitement, awe and wonder that he had for Mount Everest. I too feel the same. It is now a prized addition to my Everest library.