Wheeler’s Everest

The unforgettable story of Canadian Oliver Wheeler who was the first to map Mount Everest in 1921, paving the way for future expeditions.
Available on CBC Gem

Wheeler’s Everest

documentary Channel

What happens when you realize you are the great grandson of one of the most courageous and intriguing Canadians that few Canadians have heard of? And, what if, one of today’s most heralded Canadian explorers, Wade Davis, could open a door into a world Canadian history has overlooked?  What would you do?

WHEELER’S EVEREST is a personal and intimate journey taking Jeff Wheeler, Oliver’s great grandson, on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that will reveal a forgotten part of Canadian history, highlighting the brave man behind the discovery of the ‘doorway’ to Everest in 1921 and the first mapping of the mountain and the surrounding Himalayan massif.

Like many of his contemporaries, Oliver Wheeler endured unimaginable horrors in the trenches of WWI.  He was a flawed, restless man seconded by the first Everest Expedition to map the unmappable, and a consummate mountain climber who introduced the Canadian Photo-Survey Topographical Mapping technique – developed in the Rockies by his father – to the British elite. This Canadian way of mapping extreme mountainous environments, gave the otherwise exclusively British 1921 Everest Expedition the success it so badly needed.  And, in hindsight, we now know it would have been impossible to map in detail the environs of Everest without the Canadian method.

“Oliver Wheeler is probably the most remarkable Canadian that no Canadians have heard of…” 
                Wade Davis

Join Jeff and world famous author Wade Davis as they travel in Oliver Wheeler’s footsteps from the halls of London’s storied Royal Geographical Society to the French battlefields of WWI, to the green mountains of Darjeeling, India and, even higher, to a climactic trek through Tibet’s legendary Rongbuk Valley.  There, retracing that first Everest expedition of a century ago, they will rediscover a brave but almost forgotten Canadian’s incredible adventures and achievements.