Author(s): Harriet Tuckey
This is the winner of the 2013 Boardman Tasker prize winner of the 2013 mountain & wilderness prize, Banff festival. 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. Later in his career, his impact in helping athletes enhance their performance lasts to this day in the fields of cycling, swimming and running. 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.
An extraordinary untold story from the first ascent of Everest
"Shines an entirely new light on the great expedition - a riveting read, full of surprises" -- Sir Chris Bonington "The most important addition to the story of Everest." Doug Scott "Marvellously enjoyable and exciting..." The Times "Gripping... finally establishes [Pugh] as the real hero of the expedition." Daily Mail
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, and 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.