Charles Evans (mountaineer)

Charles Evans (mountaineer)
Sir Robert Charles Evans

Evans in 1953
Born 19 September 1918(1918-09-19)
Liverpool, England
Died 5 December 1995(1995-12-05) (aged 77)
Occupation surgeon, university principal

Sir Robert Charles Evans M.D., DSc, (19 October 1918 – 5 December 1995), was a British mountaineer, surgeon, and educator.

Born in Liverpool, he was raised in Wales and became a fluent Welsh language speaker. Educated at Shrewsbury School and Oxford University, where he studied medicine, he qualified as a doctor in 1942 and joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. He had previously climbed many of the classic routes in the Alps and put this experience to good use during travels in Sikkim and the Himalaya during the war. After demobilisation in 1947, he was a surgeon in Liverpool until 1957.

Evans was John Hunt's deputy leader on the first ascent of Everest in 1953. With Tom Bourdillon, he made the first ascent of the South Summit, coming within three hundred feet of the main summit of Everest on 26 May 1953, but was forced to turn back. Everest was summited by their teammates Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay three days later, on 29 May 1953.

Evans was the leader of the expedition which first climbed Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest peak, in 1955.

He served as the Principal of the University College of North Wales (now called Bangor University), from 1958 to 1984. He was President of the Alpine Club from 1967 to 1970.


  • Evans, John (1957). Kangchenjunga: The Untrodden Peak. New York, NY, USA: E.P. Dutton and Co. ASIN B002DFL48C. 
  • Evans, John (1955). On Climbing. Woodstock, VT, USA: The Countryman Press. ASIN B000J54WIM. 

Additional sources

  • Robert Charles Evans 1918-1995, obituary by Michael Ward, Geographical Journal, Vol. 162, No. 2 (Jul., 1996), pp. 257–258
  • Charles Clarke, 'Evans, Sir (Robert) Charles (1918–1995)' Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004

External links

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