Eric Earle Shipton
Eric Shipton, the only veteran of all four 1930s Everest expeditions, remained Everest’s senior statesman throughout his life. In 1933 he accompanied Smythe in a summit bid, but had to turn back at the First Step (27,890 feet/8500 m). It was Shipton who led the 1951 reconnaissance to the south side of Everest.
Born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) but educated in England, the endearing, impulsive, yet steadfast Shipton established his climbing credentials in the Alps. In 1928 he went to farm coffee in Kenya, where he met Tilman, his future expedition and mountaineering partner. There followed two postings as Consul-General to Kashi (China) in the 1940s, as well as spells in Hungary, Persia, and Kunming.
Later he began a new phase of writing, lecturing, and exploration, mostly in South America where, in his mid-50s, he traversed the Southern Patagonia Icecap.