It's 1976, the year of the American Bicentennial. If you're
an American climber what do you do to celebrate? Of course, you head to the
If you're Bob Cormack that mountain is the biggest of all --
It was autumn of '76 when the relatively small team of
eleven climbers and thirty Sherpas, led by thirty-eight year-old
State-Department lawyer, Phil Trimble, attempted to ascend Everest. Traveling
with the expedition was a six-man TV crew for CBS Sports, who filmed and help
finance the operation. Along with Bob Cormack and Chris Chandler, who would
eventually summit, were Barbara and Gerard Roach of Colorado, who hoped to be
the first husband and wife to summit Everest. Unfortunately events and the
fall weather were against them and they would not summit.
On October the 26th Cormack and Chandler became the 56th and
57th summits of Everest. Unlike some previous teams the two men were
able to avoid a dangerous bivouac at high altitude and arrived safely at Camp
IV after dark.
Though there were some difficulties with what have been
described as "bureaucratic foul-ups", the expedition did put two people on the
summit of Everest and the documentary film of the expedition "Everest: On Top
of the World" aired on CBS.
It was like squeezing through a closing door!
- Bob Cormack after returning from Everest's summit in 1976