Today’s mountaineers tackle the world’s tallest peaks with the latest in technical gear – from down suits to nylon ropes and even cell phones. It is a far cry from the 1920s, when the first mountaineers to attempt Mount Everest climbed in hobnail boots, hauled canvas tents and were literally facing the unknown.
Wade Davis tells the thrilling story of early British attempts to reach the roof of the world in his book, Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and The Conquest of Everest. At the center of his narrative is George Mallory, the legendary climber who, on June 6th, 1924, set out with his young companion from a camp perched at 23,000 feet, and never returned. Dr. Davis spent more than 10 years researching Into the Silence, which moves well beyond the details of the actual climbs to explore how The Great War, Britain’s imperial ambitions, and a search for redemption shaped a generation.
Mr. Davis is a writer, photographer, and filmmaker and a former Explorer-in-Residence for the National Geographic Society. He currently is a professor of anthropology at the University of British Columbia. Into the Silence received the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the United Kingdom’s top prize for nonfiction.
Wade Davis is among the featured speaker at the 2018 Sun Valley Writer’s Conference, which runs July 21st to 24th. The conference is sold out, but you can find out about several free lawn talks at this year’s event and other information at svwc.com.