The Everest-Lhotse Adventure, by Albert Eggler. Translated by Hugh Merrick. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1957. 222 pages; ills.; maps. Price $4.50.
For the members of the American Alpine Club the Swiss expedition that in 1956 climbed to the highest yet unclimbed summit, Lhotse, the world’s fourth peak, and twice reached the top of Mount Everest has a special interest. Many of us were fortunate enough to see the magnificent pictures and hear the thrilling story as told by our fellow member, Jürg Marmet. Even without this personal interest, Albert Eggler’s fascinating and well written The Everest-Lhotse Adventure would be highly rewarding.
The account starts with a description of how the climbing team, and a real team it turned out to be, was picked and trained and of what they used in the way of food and equipment. It next carries us across India and Nepal to Namche Bazar and Base Camp. We feel the anguish the Swiss felt when first Luchsinger, then Pasang Dawa Lama, and finally Diehl fell seriously ill. We ascend the Khumbu icefall and the Western Cwm with the climbers, racing desperately to beat the oncoming monsoon. With them we live in the high camps and pack supplies, gasping for oxygen. We struggle up the Lhotse couloir and stand with Luchsinger and Reiss on its wind-swept summit. We ascend Mount Everest itself, first with Marmet and Schmied, then a second time with Reist and von Gunten. We get to know intimately those marvelous, cheerful, child-like and hard-working Sherpas, whose qualities the Swiss have always been so quick to appreciate.
This is a thrilling book of a thrilling and well-run expedition. It has not suffered by its translation from German to English and reads easily and well. The photographs were excellent to begin with and have been well reproduced. This is an outstanding addition to the long list of titles that have recounted the history of the world’s highest mountain.
H. Adams Carter