Midlanders who tackled Mount Everest

Mount Everest has been tackled and conquered by people for 60 years Photo:

It is exactly 60 years since the conquest of Mount Everest, but although the world's highest mountain is synonymous with Sir Edmund Hillary, there were many who attempted the climb before him and there have been many more since.

Some of those hail from the Midlands and one Shropshire school can claim a handful of Everest explorers, with varying degrees of success.

The view from the 'top of the world' taken from the top of Mount Everest

Only a lucky few have seen the view from the summit of Mount Everest. Adam Booth is one of them. The Midlands doctor conquered the world's highest peak just over a fortnight ago and is still reliving it.

"You really go quite numb for a couple of minutes and then it suddenly starts to sink in and you realise you're standing on top of the world and you've achieved a dream"

– Adam Booth

Today marks 60 years since the first man experienced that view, Edmund Hillary he reached the top, with his companion Sherpa Tenzing Norgay. They were instant worldwide news.

Edmund Hillary with companion Sherpa Tenzing Norgay

Hillary took the glory but there was a whole team behind him, or in one case, in front of him.

Charles Evans who went to Shrewsbury School got within 100 metres of becoming the first to conquer Everest

In 1931 Charles Evans was starting at Shrewsbury School and showing all the signs of a future adventurer and explorer.

In 1931 Charles Evans was starting at Shrewsbury School and showing all the signs of a future adventurer

Evans and his companion Tom Bourdillon climbed the south face ahead of Edmund HIllary and got within 100 metres of the summit but had to turn back though lack of oxygen.

Their information helped Hillary go on to reach the top.

Evans and his companion Tom Bourdillon climbed the south face ahead of Edmund HIllary and got within 100 metres of the summit

In fact, Charles Evans, later Sir Charles, was not the first Shrewsbury boy to attempt Everest. In 1924, former rowing eight, house prefect, and all round sportsman Andrew "Sandy" Irvine joined a party to scale the peak, partnered by his friend George Mallory. Their attempt on the North face however, ended prematurely.

Andrew "Sandy" Irvine joined a party to scale the peak

"They pushed for the summit and disappeared. We don't know if they got there or not. Mallory's body was found in 1999, but Irvine's body has never been found"

– Mike Morrogh, School archivist

Sandy Irvine is so famous at Shrewsbury School that an exhibition was held in 1999 to commemorate his achievement, among the exhibits is his pickaxe.

Decades later Adam Booth joined Shrewsbury School and now he has his own reminder today's 60th anniversary, the goggles used by Sir Edmund Hillary back in 1953.

The goggles used by Sir Edmund Hillary back in 1953

"I had them in my rucksack with me but unfortunately it was too cold on the top so the goggles stayed in the rucksack, so they have been to the top but I didn't get them out."

The view from the top of the world as great today as 60 years ago

Adam's climb may have been 60 years later but his achievement is every bit as great and the view every bit as unforgettable.