The Moth and the Mountain
by Ed Caesar
The untold story of Britain’s most mysterious mountaineering legend – Maurice Wilson – and his heroic attempt to climb Everest. Alone.
In the 1930s, as official government expeditions set their sights on conquering Everest, a little-known World War I veteran named Maurice Wilson conceived his own crazy, beautiful plan: he would fly a Gipsy Moth aeroplane from England to Everest, crash land on its lower slopes, then become the first person to reach its summit – all utterly alone. Wilson didn’t know how to climb. He barely knew how to fly.
But he had pluck, daring and a vision – he wanted to be the first man to stand on top of the world. Maurice Wilson is a man written out of the history books – dismissed as an eccentric and a charlatan by many, but held in the highest regard by world class mountaineers such as Reinhold Messner. The Moth and the Mountain restores him to his rightful place in the annals of Everest and in doing so attempts to answer that perennial question – why do we climb mountains?