Archives On The Air 32: The Mt. Everest Menu Of 1963—Norman Dyhrenfurth Papers

Jul 31, 2018

Published photos showing the food preparation for Norman Dyhrenfurth and Jim Whattaker’s 1963 ascent of Mount Everest. These photos show how individual portions of food were weighed and repackaged for the climb, 1963. Box 1, Norman Dyhrenfurth papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

Norman Dyhrenfurth and Jim Whittaker took every precaution possible when preparing for their 18-day ascent of Mt. Everest in 1963.

The careful preparations helped Jim Whittaker become the first American to summit Everest.

But we often gloss over another feat of this expedition: the food.

Published photos showing the food preparation for Norman Dyhrenfurth and Jim Whattaker’s 1963 ascent of Mount Everest. These photos show the entire set of food for the climb and how it was organized before being repackaged, 1963. Box 1, Norman Dyhrenfurth papers.
Credit American Heritage Center

The expedition needed enough food for 20 mountaineers and Sherpas. It took more than one year to plan the expedition’s 15,000 meals.

The mountaineers rented a warehouse in Seattle where they unboxed, distributed, and repackaged food based on menus made by Dyhrenfurth and his team.

Over 416 boxes of food were sent to Nepal and Sherpas distributed the food to various points on the mountain.

The menu varied day to day but It always began with coffee, ended with paper towels, and weighed about 65 pounds each day.

Come peak your interest in mountaineering with the Norman Dyhrenfurth papers at UW’s American Heritage Center.