From Westmeath to Mount Everest: the 1921 reconnaissance expedition

Wednesday 17 November at 8.15pm in the Sheraton Hotel

Talk by Frank Nugent

Summary – In September 1921, a small group of mountaineers reached a ridge high in the Tibetan Himalayas. Rising before them was the greatest mountain of them all: Chomolungma to the Tibetans, Sagarmatha to the neighbouring Nepalese and Mount Everest to those explorers. Leading that small group was an Irishman, Charles Howard-Bury, who grew up in Offaly’s Charleville Castle but who spent most of his life in Westmeath’s Belvedere House. In September 2021, a new digital exhibition – – was launched in Belvedere House by Frank Nugent. The exhibition, created by Ian Kenneally who visited Tibet in 2007, commemorates Howard-Bury’s role in leading the 1921 mission to Mount Everest. At that time, Everest was unmapped and almost nothing was known about the mountain and the surrounding region. Howard-Bury’s team, which was given special permission to enter Tibet by the 13th Dalai Lama, was the first to map Mount Everest. In this lecture, Frank Nugent will trace the journey undertaken by Howard-Bury’s team, using his own vast experience as a mountaineer on Everest and other Himalayan peaks.

Speaker – Frank Nugent is an experienced mountaineer, explorer and expedition leader. He was the deputy leader of the first (and successful) Irish Everest expedition in 1993 (led by Dawson Stelfox). Frank has followed in the footsteps of Ernest Shackleton across the Island of South Georgia (South Arís Expedition 1997); sailed the Northwest Passage in the wake of Crozier and McClintock (Northabout Expedition 2001); and made many first ascents during the Irish expedition to the Lemon Mountains in Greenland during 2003. A former Chairperson of Mountaineering Council of Ireland (1997-2000) and a member of the James Caird and Tom Crean Societies, he is author of Seek the Frozen Lands: Irish Polar Explorers 1740-1922, which starts with the involvement of Aurthur Dobbs (1689-1765) in exploration of the Arctic and ends with the death of Ernest Shackleton in 1922. He is also the author of In Search of Peaks Passes & Glaciers: Irish Alpine Pioneers. Frank is a retired expert in occupational training and accreditation.

This entry was posted in Lectures and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.