Bentley Beetham Photo Collection Online, including rare 1924 Everest images!
The 1924 Everest expedition – which I have written extensively about here – was made most famous by the mystery shrouded disappearance of George Mallory & Andrew Irvine on June 8th, 1924.
There were, of course, other expedition members, most of whom have fallen into relative obscurity; they made it back alive and continued their lives, which is not nearly as sexy as disappearing high on the mountain!
But, they were an incredible group, from Doctor T. Howard Somervell to geologist Noel Odell, eccentric John Baptist Lucius Noel to larger-than-life Brigadier General Charles Granville Bruce.
He had not exactly the concentrated fire of Mallory, but he was
perpetually boiling and bursting and bubbling over with keenness and
enthusiasm – the kind of man that nothing less than a ton of bricks
could keep down: nineteen hundredweight would have been of no use.
And quite a climber he was. Beetham and Somervell made a 6 week foray into the Alps in 1923, during which time they climbed an astonishing 35 peaks!
However, as with all members of those early expeditions, Beetham was far from mono-dimensional. Climber, teacher, ornithologist, photographer, and cultural enthusiast, Beetham devoured the experiences on the approach to and climbing on Everest in 1924, and brought back the images to share.
It is exciting that now, through the efforts of the Bentley Beetham Trust in partnership with Durham University and The Heritage Lottery Fund, nearly the entire collection of Beetham’s photographs and documents are accessible online through the Bentley Beetham Collection website.
The collection is extensive and impressive, offering rarely seen glimpses into the world of pre-World War II
Tibet, of early Everest climbing, and also Beetham’s images of natural history, culture, Northeast England, and climbing and mountaineering in the Tatra Mountains of Czechoslovakia, the Atlas of Morocco, and elsewhere.
Take an adventure back in time and visit the Bentley Beetham Collection online. It is quite a journey into the life and explorations of a remarkable man!
– Jake Norton is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.