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Everest Shoes Project

Everest Shoes Project

The reaching of the summit of Mount Everest in 1953 by Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay is one of the greatest stories of exploration in history. After weeks of gruelling effort, the British team Hilary and Norgay belonged to had carved out a path to the summit of the mountain, which sits 29,035 feet above sea level and it is the highest point on earth. On the 29th of May at 11:30 am, Hilary and Norgay made the last push and summated the mountain, being the first humans in the world to do so. Upon returning to the rest of the team, Hilary famously stated to his best friend George Lowe ‘We knocked the bastard off!’.

The news of their success was swiftly but quietly transferred half way around the world to Buckingham Palace, where Queen Elizabeth I was told of it on June 1st, the day before her coronation. The news broke around the world the day of the Coronation, and it was seen as a good omen for Elizabeth's reign and a triumph for Britain.

While Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay have gone down in history as heroes of exploration, the rest of the 1953 British Everest Expedition played an equally important part in the story. George Lowe, Edmund Hilary’s long term climbing partner and friend, was an integral part of the team. He scouted, cut routes into ice and snow, and set up camps for the climbers, including the last Ridge camp that enabled Tenzing and Hilary to make the first ascent.

George was a respected and integral part of the Everest team, even if his name is not as well known. Expedition leader John Hunt says Lowe ‘put up a performance which will go down in the annals of mountaineering as an epic achievement of tenacity and skill.’

The letters George Lowe wrote to his family while on Everest were first published in 2013, and a special edition of the book contained a small square of the sleeping bag he used on the expedition.

Inspired by the remarkable stories contained within Letters from Everest, Arthur Sleep has sourced the last remaining piece of George Lowe’s sleeping bag from the 1953 British Everest Expedition, and is currently designing a boot (or shoe?) that incorporates this unique piece of exploration history.
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