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|THE STRANGE CLIMBER WHO DIED
ALONE ON THE MOUNTAIN
In April 1933 while the world was ringing with the exploits of the
Everest Air Conquerors a young Yorkshire man, Maurice Wilson, began to trouble
the authorities at the London Flying Club.
He said he was going to fly to Everest, and single - handed, assault the peak.
He did not think too much of the Housten Air Expeditions achievement.
Other reports have that it was Charles Warren who was in the group that found Maurices's remains and his rucksack along with a small Union Jack on which were the signatures of his girl friends, and most important of all his diary now kept at the Alpine club in London
MOUNT EVEREST CLIMB
MR. WISON'S FATE
LAST SEEN AT 21,000 feet
From our own correspondent, Calcutta ,19 July
The report the Mr. Maurice Wilson, a member of the London Aero Club, had attempted to climb Mount Everest alone is confirmed from Darjeeling. It apppears that three porters accompanied Mr. Wilson as far as camp 3 of the Ruttledge expedition, at 21,000 ft., where they declared that they were unable to advance without ropes and help.
Mr. Wilson therefore decided to go on alone, carrying a small tent, three loaves of bread, two tins of porridge and a camera. He was last seen making off along the glacier.
The porters were ordered to wait at camp 3 for a fortnight. They waited a month, when they were almost foodless, as well as being ill clothed for the height, and returned then to Kalimpong, arriving on July 7, and thence to Darjeeling.
Mr. Wilson's last advance was to be his final assault. He expected to find the track and ropes left by the Ruttledge party. From camp 3 the track goes over a glacier continually swept by avalanches, where the temperature is probably 50deg. below zero. there is no hope of his having survived.
Mr. Wilson left Darjeeling with the three porters, all in Tibetan clothes, about March 25, and his disapearance was noted on March 28. He reached Rungpo on the evening of March 25, passed the outpost unsuspected, and crossed Sikkim by night marches. Once in Tibet he wore european clothes, as there was little likelyhood of his being stopped except by direct orders from Lhasa, since he was then ahead of the possibility of being caught by political communications from the rear.
He reached Rongbuk Monastery on April 18 - that is, 25 days from Darjeeling beating the 1933 expedition's time by 10 days, a remarkable feat, especially as part of the route was covered by night and he had only three porters and one pack pony. He rested one day at Rongbuk and then went on to Ruttledge camp 2 , using a light tent, while the porters used a Tibetan tent. After some days he returned to Rongbuk for a rest , whence, refreashed, he set out on April 30 by slow marches to camp 3. From there, on May 17 he started on the last climb. From the porters' story this is likely to have ended at about 23,000 ft.
The three porters knew Everest. When they returned to Darjeeling they told the complete story to the police. Mr.Wilson had long been pondering the attempt. He believed that most expeditions had been hampered by their size and the weight of thier stores. He had been know to say that the man who would get up Everest was an Indian YOGI, who had no possesions and was innured to hard and simple living. In this faith he appears to have dared and died.
** Mr. Maurice Wilson who is the son of the late Mr. Mark Wilson, a Bradford manufacturer, served in the West Yorkshire Regiment during the War and was awarded the Military Cross. He flew to india a year ago in a light aeroplane, stating that it was his intention to attempt to land the machine at 10,000 ft. below the summit of Everest and then climb to the top. He was however, refused permission to fly over Nepal.
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© JCC Glass Updated 1st November 2013