Aubrey Teacupp, the legend of the East Anglian climbing scene, was behind the unsuccessful attempt on Annapurna in 1924, the even more unsuccessful attempt on Kangchenjunga in 1925 and the almost successful attempt on Deeli-Boypa in 1926.
Long fancying having a crack at the biggest prize of all - Everest - Teacupp envisioned an attempt on the mountain using a team of specially bred mountain dogs to help carry supplies and to assist climbers.
Over the next ten years, Teacupp undertook an intensve breeding program, using various breeds found throughout Norfolk, one of the flattest parts of the UK, none of whom had encountered much in the way of hills, let alone mountains in their lives. And so it was only when they arrived at the foot of Everest and established a base camp that they realised the Norfolk Mountain dogs had a natural in-bred fear of heights.
At attempt was made using a series of progressively higher kitchen stools to familiarise the dogs with heights, until Teacupp’sno. 2,Ronald Crea-Sott, pointed out that to adjust the dogs to the challenge of scaling Everest at 8848m, they would need 7459 different stools. Although Teacupp didn’t quite understands the maths, he soon realised that the dogs were going to overcupp their fear of heights and certainly weren’t going to support any sort of attempt on the mountain. The expedition had to be abandoned after the dogs ate all the remaining supplies in an attempt to calm their nerves.
Although an utter failure at it’s intended role, the Norfolk Mountain Dog has found a new role in hospitals throughout the world. Always a great lover of people, the mountain dog is employed as a therapy dog, licking people repeatedly until they feel better.
Teacupp made a second, and final attempt on Everest in 1931, which was thwarted at Dover when he realise that he’d left his passport behind on his desk.