Earliest European view of Everest found in Kew Archives

Everest region sketch by Joseph Hooker This is pretty cool: A sketch of the Everest region, dating to roughly 1848, was recently discovered in the archives of Kew Botanic Gardens

What's remarkable about this sketch is the timeframe when it was made: 1848. That was the beginning of the autocratic and xenophobic Rana regime in Nepal (1846-1950), and a very tough time to get anywhere as a foreigner into the interior of Nepal. And, interestingly, accounts of his journey don't indicate that he made it to the Khumbu Valley

But, the sketch above (enhanced slightly by me to show the peaks better) clearly shows a view of Ama Dablam on the right, with what looks to be the South Face of Lhotse & Nuptse far in the distance. It seems like the sketch shows a view near Namche Bazaar, as shown in my photo below. If so, Hooker certainly made it further into the interior of Nepal than anyone I know of at that time. 

Pretty impressive, and an amazing find by Kew!

Jake Norton is an Everest climber, guide, photographer, writer, and motivational speaker from Colorado.

  1. Sujoy Das
    Sujoy DasFebruary 25,11

    Hooker was an amazing explorer and botanist. His Himalayan Journals 1849-50 is just a classic account of his journeys through Sikkim and the Himalayas!

  2. Jake Norton
    Jake NortonFebruary 28,11

    Hi Sujoy,
    Thanks for the note. I haven’t read his Himalayan Journals, but they’re now on the list! Thanks for the heads up.
    All the best,
    Jake

  3. Online Dating Advice
    Online Dating AdviceSeptember 2,11

    That’s a beautiful sketch of the scenery indeed

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