Everest Attempt and Tragedy. Peter Hillary led an expedition of two New Zealanders and four Australians on an attempt on the west ridge of Everest from the Western Cwm. They had three fixed camps above Base Camp plus a bivouac at 7900 meters. Five members set out for the summit on October 9 from the bivouac. At 8140 meters Hillary, Craig Nottle and John Muir decided to turn back because the wind was so strong and bitterly cold that they believed they could not reach the summit that day. Fred From and Kim Logan continued upwards and got to 8200 meters, the expedition’s high point, when they saw something hurtling down the mountainside. They turned back in case they were needed for a rescue. During the first party’s descent, Craig Nottle somehow lost his footing at the bottom of the Hornbein Couloir and fell about 500 meters down the north face. The object From and Logan had seen was Nottle’s body falling. When From in his descent reached the same place as that from which Nottle had fallen, he too fell down the north face and was killed. The expedition was called off.
Michael J. Cheney, Himalayan Club, and Elizabeth Hawley