This film is part of Free
Climbing Mt Everest
The first film of Tibet, by Captain John Noel from the 1922 British expedition to Mount Everest, which was led by Brigadier General Charles Bruce.
The first film of Tibet, by Captain John Noel from the 1922 British expedition to Mount Everest, which was led by Brigadier General Charles Bruce. This silent film with captions is split into five parts telling the story of the 1922 Everest expedition, from commencement in Darjeeling, and the employment of porters to the record-breaking climb at the end. The sections are: ‘The Long Road to Tibet’, ‘Our Adventures in Tibet’, ‘A strange religious dance festival in Tibet’, ‘Laying Siege to the Great Mountain’ and ‘The Assault on the Mountain’.
The main aim of the 1922 expedition was to make the first ascent of Mount Everest; they took bottled oxygen with them on this expedition. There are two attempts in May via the North Ridge. The first by Mallory, Morshead, Norton and Somervell is without oxygen and reaches 26,985ft. The second by Geoffrey Bruce and Finch reaches 27,300ft and sets a new altitude record. On a post-expedition tour in 1923 a reporter asked George Mallory why he wanted to climb Mount Everest; it is here that he gives his infamous reply “Because it is there.” Following the success of this film in 1922, Noel funded a subsequent 1924 Everest expedition from which he captured even more extensive footage. This would become the acclaimed documentary The Epic of Everest, which was restored and re-released by the BFI in 2013.