When we look back at the history of the world, there are a lot of adventurers who have constantly pushed their boundaries, and they have faced a lot of challenges And overcome those challenges thrown on their faces. One such brave adventurer was a British pilot named Maurice Wilson.
Not many people willingly take the risk of dreaming about conquering the mighty Mount Everest but Wilson was not one of them, he was not afraid of the consequences. His eyes were set on the Everest.
He had an extraordinary ambition, a brave heart, and a passionate mind. With the combination of these spirits accompanied by his determination, he left a remarkable legacy in the world of adventures and explorers.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into the life of Maurice Wilson, who was a pilot who wanted to win the challenge of the mighty Everest in a very unconventional way.
Maurice Wilson’s Early Life
In the late 1890s, Wilson set his foot on the earth for the first time. Wilson was born on April 21st in the year 1898. He was born in the city of Bradford in England. Bradford is a popular city in West Yorkshire, England.
It is said that Wilson’s spirit for adventure did not just spawn out of nowhere after he grew up. In fact, ever since he was a little child, he was an adventurer. He was curious about the worlds of hills and mountains.
He always showed interest in activities like hiking and camping, these were the foreshadowing of his remarkable career in adventure.
He was his own teacher, in fact, he taught himself some useful survival skills that would help him whenever he needed them the most, especially in life-threatening or helpless situations.
But something that ignited the spark in him ever since he was young was the field of aviation. He was super interested in flying airplanes and helicopters. He was passionate about it, in fact, so passionate that later in life. He ended up choosing it as his career option.
His love for flying ade him to enlist himself in the Royal Flying Corps during World War 1 where he got the opportunity to do something that he loved the most, which was flying jets. He served as a pilot. It was during this time of World War 1 that he got the opportunity to work on his skills and improve them.
He ended up developing a deep relationship with skies and aviation during World War 1. So much so that he decided to choose aviation as his career for the rest of his life.
Even after World War I ended he continuously pursued a passion for aviation. A couple of years later, he even earned an official pilot’s license.
Ambitious Dreams Of Maurice Wilson MC
Maurice Wilson was an audacious man. He dreamed high.It was actually during the early 1930s that he decided to push his own boundaries too far and get out of his comfort zone.
He made a plan, which at that time was considered to be completely impossible And crazy to even think about.
His brave and extremely challenging plan was to fly in the remote and harsh terrains of the Himalayas and successfully get to the top of Mount Everest which, casually, is the tallest peak on the entire Earth.
Many dream of getting to the top of Everest and it is obvious that it is not an easy task to do so.
People train themselves and their bodies for months and prepare themselves with expensive and exclusive training and resources in order to face the challenge that the mighty Everest throws. Everest is a huge challenge that should not be underestimated by the climbers.
But here, Wilson was different from other climbers and mountaineers. He had a vision that was simple, but it was incredibly risky.
He wanted to use his experience as a pilot to his advantage in order to defeat the challenge of Everest. His risky plan was to crash land a gypsy moth biplane on the slopes of Everest. The plan was actually as crazy and risky as it sounds.
A gypsy moth is small and a lightweight aircraft. And his plan was to take that little aircraft and intentionally crash it into the Everest. And then proceed to climb the tallest mountain peak by foot.
It caused a lot of controversy. Many people considered him a fool to even think of such a risky plan. Many people applauded him for his bravery and unconventional mind though. And many were shocked and curious whether Maurice Wilson would successfully complete his plan.
Pilot Maurice Wilson’s Preparations and Training
As previously mentioned, Maurice Wilson was an ambitious man and he put a lot of faith into his unique plan. There were many skeptics of him and he was completely aware of that. He just didn’t let that negativity around his plan make him drop the plan.
He was aware of his choice and how risky the plan was. He understood that it was an audacious plan, and it would require a lot of training and preparation from his side. He did not underestimate Everest or take the challenge lightly.
He was completely aware that he must be physically fit in order to climb Mount Everest on foot.
So he worked for that. He trained his mountaineering skills more in order to challenge the unforgiving and risky terrains of the Himalayas.
Wilson understood that he must seek advice and guidance from people who have first-hand experience on the Everest. He reached out to many experienced mountaineers like Captain Noel, who was a famous climber of that time and still is.
Wilson trained a lot in the Highlands of Scotland. He trained himself in the harsh weather conditions and tested his physical endurance and limit in order to tackle the extremity of Mount Everest.
But just physical training was not enough, his plan was risky. Mentally, Wilson had to be ready to take that risk and accept the challenge. In fact, he planned each and every aspect of his expedition. He paid attention to each and every detail of his aircraft, whether it was preparing equipment that would be required for his survival or gears that would help him climb Everest.
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Getting to India
Finally, it was time that he took the first step towards his risky and challenging plan that many people were looking forward to and were curious If it would be successful.
In the year 1933, in the month of March, Maurice Wilson started on his journey with a solo Flight from England to India. He covered this journey across Europe, the Middle East, and then finally to India. This journey alone was a long one and extremely credible for a pilot to add to their achievements.
Of course, this challenge was difficult, and he had to face a lot of challenges. He had to face a lot of hurdles even for securing permits in order to enter Tibet to carry out such an unconventional plan. He finally got all the permissions he required.
Ascending the Everest
After finally reaching the lap of the Himalayas, Maurice Wilson officially started his journey towards the base camp. The closer he got to the Everest, the more the challenges increased.
The journey was unsurprisingly not easy. His journey in the mountains made him face an extreme level of cold and an unforgiving terrain.
1930 Failed Plane Crash
The central and the most risky part of the plan of Wilson was the plane crash. On April 21st, 1930, he decided to attempt to land the plane on the North Col of Everest, which is elevated at around 23000 feet or 7000 m.
Despite all the planning, he was not successful and it was a huge failure. The extremely challenging terrain of Mount Everest did not allow Maurice Wilson, an experienced pilot to successfully land on its snow-capped terrain.
The icy slopes of Everest did not support his plan and, unfortunately, failed, but the plane crash did not take the life of the pilot. He was minorly injured but his aircraft had significant damage.
The aircraft was completely destroyed. The aircraft couldn’t further be used. It meant that now, Wilson had to take the rest of history by foot and he did that.
Novice Climber Maurice Wilson’s Main Climb on Everest
When you are high up in the mountains, you have to face the risk and constant threat of avalanches landslides, and snow hurricanes almost every second.
This solo climb done by Wilson was a test of his own grit and determination. This climb would be the ultimate test of his skills and preparations. It would check whether all these months Wilson had actually prepared for this trip of a lifetime or not.
He had to be self-reliant because he was on a solo journey and he had to figure out a lot of things on his own. He did a lot of planning for this ultimate climb, but at the end of the day, he was equipped with minimal resources of gear and supplies.
According to his plan, he did not climb Everest in a hurry. In fact, he took it all slow. He believed in the theory that “the slow and steady wins the race”.He would progress slowly and steadily. He stopped in a lot of locations to acclimatize his body for the high altitude.
Battle of Life
As he went further high up in the mountain, he had to face more and more challenges that would test him on his perseverance and skills.
It is also said that he apparently suffered from multiple frostbite and snow blindness. He was definitely not supported by the weather or by the harsh surroundings.
Due to altitude sickness, he had to stop and take a lot of breaks at the lower heights in order to recover from the sickness, but that still did not stop him. He was determined to get to the top of Everest.
One of the most tragic accidents that he faced up there was when he was trapped inside a crevasse and was suspended just by a rope. That was a situation where he saw death in front of his eyes. This accident demanded a lot of physical endurance from him.
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Tragic Death of Maurice Wilson
He had the whole journey planned but the plan failed him at the end. He had worked a lot for this to be successful. But unfortunately, he had to live his last day on the earth.
On May 30, 1934 , Maurice Wilson unfortunately passed away. It is said that his dead body was found at an elevation of approximately 21000 feet. His body was discovered by a British expedition team whose leader was Sir Hugh Ruttledge. His dead body was found in an extremely injured condition.
Unfortunately, Maurice Wilson could not live to see the success of his plan. His name still remains a prominent one among the names of mountaineers.
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