Those Imperial dudes

I couldn’t resist another description of one of the first British parties to explore Everest in 1922, from the brilliant Into The Silence by Wade Davis. This time it’s Lieutenant F.M.Bailey:

“A brilliant naturalist, he discovered scores of new species, including the legendary Himalayan blue poppy that bears his name. He once saved his own life by using a butterfly net to self-arrest and thus escape a snow slide as it grew into an avalanche. Seriously wounded three times during the war, in France and at Gallipoli, he became a British spy, a master of a dozen disguises, traveling as a Buddhist priest, an Austrian soldier, and an Armenian prisoner of war, and causing the Bolsheviks in Tashkent and Samarkand such grief that he would live with a Soviet bounty on his head for the rest of his days.”

The intrepid explorer and spy later wrote some books himself including Mission to Tashkent. All of the characters on the early Everest missions are extraordinary.

Into The Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest

Mission to Tashkent