What’s Your Himalayan IQ?

This month's 560–page Fallen Giants, by professors Maurice Isserman and Stewart Weaver, is the most exhaustive narrative history of Himalayan climbing to date. It's also the subject of this month's quiz. Pencils out—begin!

Aimee Hess

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1. What did the French lose on their first ascent of Annapurna, in 1950?
A) All but one tent
B) The summit photos
C) 30 fingers and toes
D) A rosary given to them by Charles de Gaulle

2. Which of the following is not one of Everest’s many names?
A) Chomolungma
B) Zhumulangma Feng
C) Wilmervalderrama
D) Sagarmatha

3. On the 1956 first ascent of Lhotse, the Swiss became the first to use what in the Himalayas?
A) Drugs for altitude sickness
B) Modern crampons
C) Nylon
D) Chemical hand warmers

4. Who first spied the Southeast Ridge route of K2?
A) British occultist Aleister Crowley
B) Colorado search–and–rescue ace Gabe Walker
C) Nazi Hans Reinerth
D) Reinhold Messner

5. Karakoram pioneer Fanny Bullock Workman once unfurled a banner at 22,000 feet that read:
A) marry me, reinhold
B) votes for women
C) tip your porter
D) we did it

6. At Camp III on their 1954 first ascent of K2, an Italian team recovered and returned American Charlie Houston’s:
A) Femur
B) Engineer’s compass?
C) Ice ax
D) Red umbrella

7. After his solo first ascent of Nanga Parbat, in 1953, Austria’s Hermann Buhl packed all but which one of these phrases into a single purple sentence describing the peak?
A) Mountain of terror
B) Cloud–piercing giant
C) Malefic rise
D) Pitiless domain

8. Which of these statements about George Mallory are true?
A) He encountered a chicken–like bird at 19,000 feet on Ama Dablam in 1921
B) He wrote a biography of 18th–century biographer James Boswell
C) He was openly bisexual and posed for “sensual portraits” by a noted homosexual painter
D) He was afraid of heights

9. In 1954, three Austrians made the first ascent of Cho Oyu without:
A) A tent
B) Bottled oxygen
C) Ropes
D) Permission

10. The lead Sherpa on an expedition is known as:
A) Sirdar
B) Merkin
C) Bulgogi
D) Brah

11. Hillary and Tenzing left all but which atop Everest?
A) A crucifix
B) Yellow snow
C) Some candy
D) The flag of New Zealand

ANSWERS: 1: C; 2: C; 3: B; 4: A; 5: B; 6: D; 7: C; 8: B & C; 9: B; 10: A; 11: D

Fallen Giants is available from Yale University Press ($40)

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