In the 1950s the Chinese closed the door of Tibet to the West, preventing any further attempts on Everest from the North Face for many years. A new route would have to be found. As Tibet closed, Nepal slowly opened its borders and gave access to a steadily increasing number of Western climbers and visitors.
Today, images abound of Nepal’s Hindu and Buddhist architecture, its fertile rice terraces, and magnificent Himalayan peaks. Up until the 1950s, Nepal was a remote country, scarcely even photographed, as far as the outside world knew. The last two Mount Everest Expeditions we cover here, however, were given unprecedented access to this Hindu Kingdom and its Buddhist enclaves. The images from the Everest Archive show areas such as the Solu Khumbu before mass tourism.
Photo: George Lowe, 1953