Paul Pfau- Ghosts of Everest’s Past

This program was organized by Alec Shumate, Member #1210.


Paul Pfau has led four expeditions to the Mount Everest massif, including two to Changtse – the North Peak of the mountain – and two to the main summit from both the Nepalese South Col and Tibetan North Col routes.

Andrew Irvine (top left) and George Leight Mallory (adjacent) with his knee up were part of the 1924 British expedition on Everest.

Paul will recount the origin of his near lifetime of interest in Chomolungma – “Goddess Mother of the Earth” – culminating in 1995 when 13 of his team summitted the mountain – including the grandson of the pioneering Everest mountaineer, George Mallory. In the years before and following this adventure, Paul completed extensive research into the early 1920’s English expeditions and the still-unsolved mystery of whether George Mallory and Andrew Irvine were the first to summit the mountain. Some artifacts from these earlier expeditions will be displayed.

Paul Pfau on Everest Massif.

Paul has climbed on all the continents, skied to the North Pole, and much earlier in his adventuring held a Guinness Book of World Record for the “Hottest Run” across Death Valley. In another area of interest, he is also an active member of the Collings Foundation – specializing in the restoration of vintage warbirds. Paul counts his most rewarding adventure, however, his ongoing tour of all of America’s National Parks with his just-turned 13-year-old son, Will, and their four dogs.

Paul Pfau

In his other life, Paul was a prosecuting attorney with the L.A. County DA’s office, developed a California-based Bar Review company, and for the past 20 years owned and managed a Montana ranching operation.

Paul is a past member of the American, Canadian, and British Alpine Clubs – in addition to England’s Royal Geographic Society. He has written numerous Journal and magazine articles with more than a few highlighting his interest in the 1921-24 English Everest expeditions, including a presentation at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum in Washington, DC.