Archives On The Air 165: Scouting Mount Everest—Betsy Cowles Partridge Papers

Nov 12, 2019

In 1950 Coloradoan Betsy Cowles Partridge was part of an attempt to find a path to the summit of Mount Everest.

Partridge had mountaineering in her blood. By age 31 she had climbed most of the fourteeners in Colorado.

In 1950 Partridge and three men tried to make an ascent of the peak from the southern slope in Nepal.

On the way they met Mohun, the last reigning Maharajah of Nepal. Partridge was the first American woman to witness the rites of the monks at the Thyangboche Monastery.

The expedition reached between 18,000 and 19,000 feet on Everest. They did not find a viable route to the peak.

After the expedition Partridge toured the country lecturing with color slides from the climb.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay led the first known successful ascent of Everest in 1953.