#Harken #History: Mt. Everest Expedition – Harken Blocks Go Along. Turn the clock back to 1983 and learn about Harken’s role in the first ascent of Mt. Everest’s East Face, also known as the Kangshung Face. The below story is from the archives of our Bearings newsletter:
"The east face of Everest has never been climbed. In 1921, George Mallory took a look at the sheer 12,000 foot wall swooping vertically from the Kangshung glacier to the summit and turned back. The Eastern approach wasn’t attempted again until 1981 when an American team reached a height of 22,500 feet before winter closed in and forced them to retreat. This summer, 12 Americans, including seven from the ’81 expedition will again attempt to reach the top of the world from the east and bring back mountaineering’s most sought after trophy.
Harken blocks are going along!!! The blocks will be used in a winching system that will ferry supplies and equipment from one of the high snow camps across a crevasse 1500 feet wide to a ledge 1200 feet up. Lines will be fired into place by a rocket gun. Anchoring the line at each end will be 2 tripods equipped with Harken turning blocks. The high line will be 3000 feet long and continuous; the hauling line 5500 feet long and continuous as well. Loads, (approximately 50 lbs. each), will be suspended in a nylon bag from a custom Harken trolley blocks. The loads (about 100 of them) will move upwards at the rate of 8 feet per second.
The East Face Expedition plans to reach Everest’s summit (29,028 feet) on October 6th, 1983. A second team plans to reach the summit on October 8th.”
In case you are wondering, the team successfully reached the summit as planned!
Image credit: Debasish biswas kolkata / MagentaGreen | Image used under Creative Commons License BY-SA 4.0
#sailing #throwbackthursday #everest #climbing #mountaineering #kangshungface #innovation #throwback #pioneer #summit #firstascent