You are here

Everest: The First Ascent (Rider)

Everest: The First Ascent (Rider)

On 29 May 1953, the summit of Mount Everest was finally reached. The achievement brought fame and honours to many involved – except the man who made the ascent possible.

Now, for the first time, drawing upon previously unseen diaries and letters, rare archive material and interviews, Everest – The First Ascent tells the remarkable story of Griffith Pugh, the forgotten team member whose scientific breakthroughs ensured the world’s highest mountain could be climbed. A doctor and physiologist, Griffith Pugh revolutionised almost every aspect of British high-altitude mountaineering, transforming the climbers’ attitude to oxygen, the clothes they wore, their equipment, fluid intake and acclimatisation.

Yet, far from receiving the acclaim he was due, he was met with suspicion and ridicule. His scientific contributions were, quite simply, at odds with old-fashioned notions of derring-do and the gentlemanly amateurism that dogged the sport.

This insightful biography shows Pugh to be troubled, abrasive, yet brilliant. Eight years in the writing, closely researched, and told with unflinching honesty by Pugh’s daughter, Harriet Tuckey, Everest – The First Ascent is the compelling portrait of an unlikely hero.

 

About the Author

Harriet Tuckey

Harriet Tuckey is the daughter of Griffith Pugh. She has a first-class honours degree in English Literature and an MA in the Sociology of Literature from the University of Essex, as well as a postgraduate diploma in the History of Art from the Courtauld Institute. She has worked for the policy think tank PEP, the UK Department of Employment and the Manpower Services Commission in various research capacities. She lives in London.

Read a Q&A with Harriet Tuckey here

Accolades