Thursday, February 29, 2024

Images and ink (53)

: Everest and Makalu at sunset, image by courtesy of Alpine Light & Structure. 

Ink: A Centenary Tribute to the Alpine Club, by Arnold Lunn, published by the Swiss Foundation for Mountain Research (1957).

The Makalu expedition, precisely because it was a model of organisation, lacked drama ... A famous journalist asked the expedition leader Jean Franco hopefully whether there had not been any incidents. “Alas!” replied Franco, “there was no crevasse into which we fell, no avalanche which swept away our camp. At 8,000 metres. we felt as though we were on the summit of Mont Blanc. Nine of us reached the top. Three ascents in three days. You can’t call that a conquest. And we didn’t even have frozen feet.” “Well, then,” said the journalist, “nothing happened.” “But what he did not ask,” comments Franco, “was why nothing happened.”

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