In 1922 Dr Arthur Wakefield, a general practitioner from Cumbria, reached the North Col of Mt Everest at 23,000 feet as a member of the first British team to attempt the summit. As well as being a climber, he provided medical care to his comrades, who included George Leigh Mallory and George Finch. Yet, in their accounts of the expedition, several climbers portrayed him as a nervous old man and a “complete passenger”. However, his letters home and a small daily diary suggest he was a wise and caring physician. His motivation for joining this expedition at the age of 46 was somewhat different from that of his companions.