Between 1921 and 1938 the Mount Everest Committee (MEC) organized the first seven Mount Everest Expeditions, all of which attempted to climb the north side of Everest, which lies in Tibet. His Holiness the 13th Dalai Lama gave special permission to the MEC to allow access to climbers and surveyors so that Everest and the surrounding region could be mapped and climbed. These early expeditions traveled through Sikkim and marched along the Tibetan plateau, from the Rongbuk Glacier, they followed the East Rongbuk Glacier and attempted to ascend Everest from the North Col. Famously, in 1924 Mallory and Irvine disappeared into the mists of Everest. To this day it is not known whether they ever reached the summit. During the 1930s further attempts were made on the mountain, but due to bad weather, the summit remained elusive.
Photo: A.F.R. Wollaston, 1921