Everest Mountaineer Ed Webster

I have been very fortunate in life to meet some heroes of mine. The camera helps with that. You can imagine my surprise when my good buddy mentioned that the bible of rock climbing in the Northeast was authored by non-other than Everest mountaineer, and New England native, Ed Webster - and that we were going to spend time with him. But this isn’t just another Everest conquistador. This is the man who arguably wrote the most rewarding volume on mountaineering and Everest of all-time. The man who lost most of his fingertips to frostbite, capturing some of the most breathtaking images above 24,000ft. The man who’s partner survived overnight, the only man in history to do so, alone and bivied at over 29,000ft on top of the world. The man who, with three others, forged up the Kangshung Face, a route mountaineering legend Dr. Charles Houston upon hearing of their intent to climb the most dangerous and feared side of Everest proclaimed: “Four against the Kangshung? You’re mad!” And even George Mallory himself upon inspecting the face in 1921 while looking for a viable approach to the North Col. did not find it particularly appealing. “Other men, less wise, might attempt this way if they would, but emphatically, it was not for us,” wrote Mallory. What has been stamped in the history books for all-time, the 1988 expedition is what many consider the last pure ascent of Mt. Everest: no sherpas, no radios, no fixed ropes, no supplemental oxygen. This and many other tales of ascents in the sky are forever sitting on my shelf and the shelves of many others in Ed’s epic “Snow in the Kingdom”.

Images ran in both Wild Northeast Magazine + Sidetracked with the story, “The History of Mountains” (writer Michael Hilton). We curated historical images captured by Ed and his partners while spending time with him at his Maine home. I was fortunate to capture these images of Ed close to home, spending a number of days roped up with him while climbing ancient granite in New Hampshire, exploring first ascents he would record in his pre-Everest days (and subsequently document in ‘Rock Climbs of New Hampshire’).

You can browse some selects from our time here