Kanchenjunga, first climbed by George Band and Joe Brown in 1955. Photo: proxygeek CC-BY-SA-2.0

Kanchenjunga, first climbed by George Band and Joe Brown in 1955. Photo: proxygeek CC-BY-SA-2.0

One of the members of the expedition that made the first successful ascent of Everest has died.

George Band was the youngest climber in the team that included Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, who went on to summit the world’s highest peak in 1953.

Mr Band died today, aged 82, at his home in Hampshire.

He made the first successful ascent of Kanchenjunga – the world’s third highest mountain – two years after the John Hunt-led Everest expedition, summiting with Joe Brown, though the pair stopped a few feet short of the 8,586m (28,169ft) summit in deference to the wishes of the people of Nepal and the Indian state of Sikkim.

He was a past president of the Alpine Club and the British Mountaineering Council. Mr Band, who was born in Taiwan to English missionaries, was appointed an OBE two years ago for services to mountaineering and to charity.

The Cambridge graduate was appeal patron of the youth adventurous activities charity British Schools Exploring Society Expeditions and recently attended the BMC’s annual dinner at Plas y Brenin to present the newly created George Band Award for voluntary contribution to the BMC’s work. He was also appointed a patron of the council.

Mr Band became chairman of the Himalayan Trust UK in 2003 and also chaired the Mount Everest Foundation. He was a member of the council of the Royal Geographical Society.

In an obituary on the BMC’s website, Tony Ryan said of George Band: “George was a great personality and a tremendous spokesman for mountaineering over many years, and will be sadly missed.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Mountaineering council seeks IT volunteers
  2. Scott and Greaves become mountain council patrons
  3. Peak District climber dies after fall at Horseshoe Quarry
  4. Kenton Cool’s next challenge: world’s three highest peaks in three months
  5. New Keswick exhibition tells story of first Kangchenjunga ascents