The British-led attempt on the north-east ridge of the world’s highest mountain was the first since 1924 when Andrew Irvine and George Mallory had disappeared. Irvine’s ice axe was found en route.
Wager, who had shown his mettle as a mountaineer when working in Greenland, was among the party chosen for the team’s first attempt on the summit on May 30. Although falling just 1000ft short of the summit before turning back because of the lateness of the hour and the poor snow conditions, they equalled the highest point reached in mountaineering at the time and set a record for climbing without supplemental oxygen that would not be bettered until 1978.
Wager also collected numerous geological samples: The Oxford University Museum of Natural History has a groupof 244 rocks he took from Everest.
The two pairs of leather mittens, woollen shirts, an anorak and wood jacket were offered by Railtons on behalf of a descendant. Although difficult to estimate, they always looked a little undercooked at £20-30 and indeed sold at £3600.