1924 v 2007

Since the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, the type of travel, climbing equipment, climbing clothing and costs have changed considerably. In 1924 George Mallory and his team mates used the latest type of equipment and clothing that was available to them at the time.

Today, we must wonder how on earth they managed to do what they did on the highest mountain in the world Mount Everest, with the equipment that they had and used by today’s standards.

Below I have tried my best to give an accurate account and have listed the differences between some of the clothing and equipment that was used on the 1924 expedition and what is used today on a 2007 expedition.

2007 Mountain Ice Axe1924 Mountain Axe (C) RGS 2007 Mountain Boots (C) telemark-pyrenees.com 1924 Mountain Boot (C) RGS

2007 Camera (C) Canon UK 1924 Camera (C) David Hoyt 2007 Mountain Suit (C) Redline 1924 Mountain Suit (C) Graham Hoyland

2007 Oxygen Apparatue (C) Poisk Ltd 1924 Oxygen Apparatus (C) RGS 2007 Goggles (C) telemark-pyrenees.com 1924 Goggles (C) RGS

2007 Mountain Tent (C) The North Face 1924 Mountain Tent (C) RGS 2007 Mountain Rope (C) Pavalache Dreamstime.com 1924 Mountain Rope (C) RGS

Expedition Cost

1924: Cost of overall Expedition: £3,000 to £4,000 for team of 12

2007: Cost of overall Expedition: £150,000 for team of 12

Travel

1924: North Side of Mount Everest

Boat from England UK to Bombay, Train from Bombay to Delhi, Train from Delhi to Calcutta, Train from Calcutta to Darjeeling, Trek/Horseback/Donkey from Darjeeling – Sikkim – Phari – Khamba Dzong – Shekar Dzong – Rongbuk Monastery to Mount Everest Base Camp.

This journey took approximately 4 to 6 weeks but it includes overnight stops for acclimatisation purposes

2007: North Side of Mount Everest

Fly from England UK to Kathmandu, Fly from Kathmandu to Lhasa, Drive (Jeep) from Lhasa to Shigatse Drive from Shigatse to Shegar, Drive from Shegar to Tingri, Drive from Tingri to Mount Everest Base Camp.

This journey takes approximately 10 days but it includes overnight stops for acclimatisation purposes

1924: South Side of Mount Everest

The South Side of Mount Everest was closed to all in 1924

2007: South Side of Mount Everest

Fly from England UK to Kathmandu, Fly from Kathmandu to Lukla, Trek (By Foot) From Lukla – Namche Bazaar – Deboche – Dingboche – Lobuje – Gorak Shep to Mount Everest Base Camp.

This journey takes approximately 15 days but it includes overnight stops for acclimatisation purposes

Clothing

1924:

Base Layer: Cotton or Silk Underwear, Wool Long Johns and 3 pairs of Wool Socks

Inner Layer: Woven Silk Shirt, Wool Flannel Shirt, Shetland Knitted Pullover and Wool Leggings

Outer Layer: Cotton Burberry Jacket, Windproof Smock and Trousers

Gloves: Inner Gloves Silk, Outer Gloves Wool or Sheepskin

Headwear: Fur Lined Flying Helmet

Eye Protection: Glass Goggles

Boots: Leather Hobnail and Putties

Crampons: None. The nails on the soles of the boots to served as crampons

The Base Layer would not of been made of a breathable fibre so it would hold in any moisture present. The Inner and Outer Layers would retain any warm air trapped close to the skin keeping them warm. The amount of layers worn would also offer great protection from the wind. Later tests on this clothing have shown it was well designed, comfortable and up to the job it was used for.

2007:

Base Layer: Synthetic Underwear, Fleece Tights and 3 pairs of Thermal Wool Socks

Inner Layer: T-Shirt, Fleece Jacket and Sweater

Outer Layer: Goose Filled Down Jacket with Trousers or All In One Suit

Gloves: Goose Filled Down

Headwear: Wind Proof Fleece Hat fitted into Jacket or All In One Suit

Eye Protection: Glacier glasses with Side Covers and nose guard

Boots: Plastic Outer Shell, Rubber Soles and Synthetic Insulation with built-in over Gaiter

Crampons: 12-point full step-in

Today’s high altitude clothing is designed and tested to withstand extreme cold and wind.

Equipment

1924:

Tent: A-Frame Cotton

Sleeping Bag: Eiderdown Filled

Ice Axe: Wooden Handle with Steel Head

Oxygen: 3 Cylinders and Apparatus – 28LBS in weight or 20LBS for 2 Cylinders

2007:

Tent: Breathable Nylon and Polyester Dome shape

Sleeping Bag: Goose Filled Down

Ice Axe: Aluminium Handle with Steel Head

Oxygen: 1 Cylinder and Apparatus – 7.7LBS in weight

Food and Drink

1924:

Base Camp: Fresh local foods – Meat, Rice, Eggs, Vegetables, Fruit, Potatoes and Rice.

Drinks: Tea and Coco

Higher Camps: Bully Beef, Tongue, Ham, Sardines, Pemmican, Mixed Biscuits, Variety of Jam, Cheese, Tin Spaghetti, Macaroni, Dried Fruits, Chocolate, Kendal Mint Cake, Butterscotch and Peppermint Sweets.

Drinks: Tea and Coco

2007:

Base Camp: Fresh local foods – Meat, Rice, Eggs, Vegetables, Fruit, Potatoes and Rice. Lentils, Pasta, Bread

Drinks: Tea, Coffee, Beer, High Protein Drinks

Higher Camps: Oatmeal, Nuts, Cookies, Soups, Instant Mash, Noodles, Energy Bars, Pop Tarts, Boil Bags (A meal in bag to boil)

Drinks: Tea, Coffee, Hot Chocolate, High Protein Drinks

Media Equipment

1924:

Diary, Kodak Vest Pocket ‘B’ Camera and Sherpa Mail Runner

2007:

Satellite Phone, Digital Camera and a Laptop Computer