Summiting Everest - A Tribute To Tim Macartney-Snape

by Chris Hartley - Mountain Designs

Summiting Everest - A Tribute To Tim Macartney-Snape

On the 3rd of October, 1984, Tim Macartney-Snape and Greg Mortimer became the first Australians to climb to the top of Mt Everest. In an incredible feat of human endeavour, courage and strength, they braved a previously untouched route and etched their names in Australian mountaineering history. Here we pay tribute to Macartney-Snape, bringing to light some amazing facts about that extraordinary first Aussie ascent and the man himself.

They Summited Via A New Route

Macartney-Snape and Mortimer reached the top via a new route up the North Face central couloir, named White Limbo. They climbed without bottled oxygen and without the help of high altitude porters. Overcoming avalanches and storms to reach the summit, Mt Everest historian Walt Unsworth would later describe the climb as 'one of the greatest climbs ever done on the mountain'.

They Were Outfitted In Mountain Designs Gear

Mountain Designs has an awesome history of supporting Australian adventurers and expeditions including this first Australian ascent of Everest - Macartney-Snape and Mortimer were outfitted in Mountain Designs gear when they made their climb to the top of the world. Many years later, Mountain Designs would recognise this feat with the White Limbo expedition range.

Macartney-Snape Went Back For More, This Time From Sea To Summit

In 1990, Macartney-Snape returned to climb Everest for a second time, with the idea of climbing the mountain from 'sea to summit'. The expedition took three months, starting off from the Bay of Bengal before he reached the top on the 11th of May.

Tim Macartney-Snape Was The First Australian To Summit Everest
Tim's Second Ascent

Tim Macartney-Snape was the first Australian to summit Everest, seen here returning from his incredible 'Sea to Summit' Everest expedition in 1990 (left), and during his second ascent (right). (Images courtesy of Steven Siewert and Tim Macartney-Snape)

He Co-founded Sea To Summit

Many adventurers would have heard of Sea to Summit, and in fact would probably have some of the gear in their packs. Macartney-Snape co-founded the company, which takes its name from his 1990 Everest expedition, and stocks a huge range of outdoor and adventure gear and accessories. Today, Sea to Summit products are sold in over 60 countries around the world.

Two-Time Order Of Australia Recipient

Macartney-Snape was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1987 for service to mountaineering. In 1993, he was recognised with a Member of the Order of Australia for service to mountaineering and to international relations.

In Film & Literature

There have been several films made about Macartney-Snape's exploits, including the documentary Everest: Sea to Summit, which won prizes in seven countries for best mountain film. He has also authored three books: Mountain Adventurer (1992), Everest: From Sea to Summit (1992), and Being Outside (1993).

Macartney-Snape Co-Founded World-Renowned Outdoor Accessories Brand Sea To Summit
Mountain Designs White Limbo Range

Macartney-Snape co-founded world-renowned outdoor accessories brand Sea to Summit (left) and the Mountain Designs White Limbo range (right), which was named after the new route taken on his first Everest ascent.

Photo Credits

Images courtesy of:

Tim Macartney-Snape

Steven Siewert




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