Hard Cover. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1955. First Edition. Very Good.
Illustrated with maps by A. Spark and sketches by George Djurkouic. First edition, first printing. Signed by Hillary on the half-title page and fellow climber Michael Ward on front free endpaper. Publisher's dark blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt, Ward bookplate to front pastedown; in the original pictorial dust jacket, with an illustration of Hillary in the Himalayas to the front panel, lettered in black. Near fine book, with a bit of toning to spine ends, a gentle lean to spine, and some offsetting to endpapers; good unclipped dust jacket, with some chipping to spine ends and lower left corner of rear panel, mild edgewear, corners lightly nicked, tape repair to spine ends and jacket verso. Overall, a complete copy with an excellent association. The author's first book, High Adventure is Sir Edmund Hillary's personal account of his experiences climbing Mt. Everest, which culminates in a description of the 1953 expedition that achieved the first successful ascension. Throughout the text, Hillary describes his climbing partners and fellow expedition members with whom he collaborated throughout his climbing career, noting that many of them, including Tenzing Norgay and George Lowe, were his close friends. As Hillary writes in his dedication, "I have gained much from the mountains, and not least has been the companionship of many fine mountaineers." This copy of High Adventure was owned by Michael Ward, the official doctor of the 1953 Everest expedition. Two years earlier, Ward made a key contribution to the 1953 climb by discovering an alternate route up Everest through his study of a trove of aerial photographs at the Royal Geographical Society. He and Hillary were part of a 1951 expedition that confirmed his theory about the viability of the alternate route. Ward's research into the importance of oxygenation and hydration, especially near the summit of Everest, also contributed to the success of the 1953 ascent. Ward wrote a number of books, including the landmark work Mountain Medicine: a Clinical Study of Cold and High Altitude (1975), and was appointed a CBE from the British Empire in 1983.