Charles Evans (mountaineer)

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Sir Robert Charles Evans
Evans in 1953
Born (1918-10-19)19 October 1918
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 1953 British Mount Everest Expedition which made 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 was the following year awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Patron's Gold Medal.[1]

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.


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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


  1. "List of Past Gold Medal Winners" (PDF). Royal Geographical Society. Retrieved 24 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links