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Wireless Communication at Mount Everest

Nature volume 134, page 247 (18 August 1934) | Download Citation



A paper entitled “Wireless Communications with the Mount Everest Expedition, 1933”, read before the Royal Society of Arts by Mr. D. S. Richards, has now been published (J. Roy. Soc. Arts, May 11). The plans provided for the installation of a main fixed station at Darjeeling, the starting point of the expedition, and two mobile transmitting and receiving stations to be erected at the Base Camp and Camp III at altitudes of 16,800 ft. and 21,000 ft. respectively. The distance from Darjeeling to the Base Camp was about 111 miles, with a further 10 miles to Camp III, from which a telephone line was to be laid to Camp IV about Ij miles distant and at a height of 22,800 ft. Communication was carried out by telephony when possible, with recourse to Morse telegraphy when conditions were less favourable. Wave-lengths in the region 40-60 metres were found to be the most successful, and the best time for communication was in the early morning when fading and interference from atmospherics were reduced to a minimum. On the whole, the wireless equipment worked satisfactorily, and the service provided was of great value to the climbers. Weather reports were delivered to Camp IV within an hour or two of their being originated in Calcutta. Radio-telephony proved a great success on occasions, notably when H.E. the Governor of Bengal spoke to some members of the expedition from Government House, Darjeeling, and also when the Civil Surgeon in Darjeeling was consulted about some medical cases. Dr. Greene also carried out a diagnosis by radio between Base Camp and Camp III when there was no doctor in the latter Camp. Not least among the advantages provided was that of the reception at Base Camp of broadcasting programmes and news bulletins.

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