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For immediate release: April 3, 2003
Contact: Eric Quiñones, (609) 258-5748, quinones@princeton.edu

Media advisory: Conference marks 50th anniversary of first Everest ascent

WHO: Mountaineering experts and historians, including two climbers of Mount Everest

WHAT: "On Top of the World: An Everest Anniversary Conference"

WHEN: Saturday, April 12, beginning at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Dodds Auditorium, Robertson Hall, on the Princeton University campus.

The conference commemorates the historic expedition of Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese mountaineer Tenzing Norgay, who reached the summit of Mount Everest 50 years ago this spring.

Dr. Thomas Hornbein, who traversed the summit of Everest from the West Ridge with the American expedition in 1963, will begin the conference with a lecture titled “Everest Then and Now: The Maturation of a Mountain.” It will be followed by a panel discussion called “The Changing Face of Mount Everest: The Politics of Mountaineering,” featuring Maurice Isserman, a professor of history at Hamilton College; Ed Douglas, a journalist and editor of Britain’s Alpine Club Journal; and Ed Webster, a freelance writer and Everest veteran. The panel moderator will be David Robertson, the son-in-law and biographer of Everest climber George Leigh Mallory.

The event also will include a slide show by Webster called “My Storm Years on Everest: Climbing the Kangshung Face”; a special exhibition of manuscripts, photos and memorabilia, lent by the participants or culled from the papers of James Ramsay Ullman, historian of the successful American expedition of 1963; and a mini film festival, featuring archival documentary footage about Everest.

The Friends of the Princeton University Library will host the conference, which is cosponsored by the Council for the Humanities, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, the Department of Geosciences and the National Geographic Society.

The conference schedule is online at http://www.princeton.edu/~rbsc/friends/everest.html. For more information, contact conference coordinator Margaret Rich at (609) 258-3174.