> Skip to content

An extraordinary untold story from the first ascent of Everest

WINNER OF THE OUTSTANDING GENERAL SPORTS WRITING AWARD, BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS

WINNER OF THE BOARDMAN TASKER PRIZE


WINNER OF THE MOUNTAIN & WILDERNESS PRIZE, BANFF FESTIVAL

WINNER OF THE TONY LOTHIAN AWARD, BIOGRAPHERS’ CLUB

For the first time, drawing upon previously unseen diaries and letters, rare archive material and interviews, Everest – The First Ascent tells the remarkable story of Griffith Pugh, the forgotten team member whose scientific breakthroughs ensured the world’s highest mountain could be climbed. A doctor and physiologist, Griffith Pugh revolutionised almost every aspect of British high-altitude mountaineering, transforming the climbers’ attitude to oxygen, the clothes they wore, their equipment, fluid intake and acclimatisation.

Yet, far from receiving the acclaim he was due, he was met with suspicion and ridicule. His scientific contributions were, quite simply, at odds with old-fashioned notions of derring-do and the gentlemanly amateurism that dogged the sport.

Later in his career, his impact in helping athletes enhance their performance lasts to this day in the fields of cycling, swimming and running.

This insightful biography shows Pugh to be troubled, abrasive, yet brilliant. Eight years in the writing, closely researched, and told with unflinching honesty by Pugh’s daughter, Harriet Tuckey, Everest – The First Ascent is the compelling portrait of an unlikely hero.

Reviews

Shines an entirely new light on the great expedition - a riveting read, full of surprises

Sir Chris Bonington

The most important addition to the story of Everest.

Doug Scott

Marvellously enjoyable and exciting...

The Times

Gripping... finally establishes [Pugh] as the real hero of the expedition.

Daily Mail

A vibrant, hard-hitting and very moving book, and a fascinating addition to the Everest story

Spectator

A startlingly fresh take on [the Everest] story...It was Pugh’s work on dehydration, acclimatisation and above all oxygen supply, however, that really won the day.

Scotsman

A most remarkable work about a perfectly extraordinary man. I much admire it.

Jan Morris

Despite the huge role played by Pugh, his contribution was not made public...but, in the climbing community, [his] innovations were immediately studied and copied.

Sunday Mirror

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781846043659

    June 2, 2014

    Rider

    432 pages

    RRP $27.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback

    9781846043499

    May 16, 2013

    Rider

    432 pages

    RRP $36.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781448177073

    May 23, 2013

    Ebury Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ