Death On Mount Kanchenjunga

Death On Mount Kanchenjunga Cover In 1905 Crowley led the first expedition to attempt to climb the third highest mountain in the world, Mount Kanchenjunga (28,208 feet), located in the Himalayas. Having taken up mountaineering in 1898, Crowley had frequently excelled at this sport in the Alps and elsewhere thanks to his considerable skills, physical stamina, and courage. However, the ill-fated Kanchenjunga expedition suffered from multiple problems which ultimately proved fatal. Prior to the ascent, Crowley failed to ensure the recruitment of well qualified, compatible expedition members. During the ascent he managed them poorly; some of the porters even deserted. Morale of the men was poor and great tension and animosity existed between Crowley and many of the them. Impassioned arguments even broke out over his choice of route.

At camp five (21,000 feet, according to Crowley) things came to a head: six of the men (including three porters) mutinied and began to descend, while the magus remained with the rest of the expedition. During their descent four men fell and triggered an avalanche which buried them. The remaining two, still within earshot of Crowley, cried for help as they set to extricating their comrades. However, he did nothing, waiting until the next day to descend. Two days later the bodies of the dead men were recovered. Crowley and other expedition members reported the events to the press. Many members of the public and mountaineering clubs found Crowley’s behavior reprehensible. Thus, the Kanchenjunga expedition ended in tragedy, failure, and permanent damage to Crowley’s reputation as a mountaineer.

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