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Top of the world Massive Everest as photographed by little Dölf Reist

Dölf Reist was a member of the successful Swiss quartet who made it to the top of Mount Everest in 1956. He also documented the expedition with photographs. These images were the foundation of a successful parallel career as a public speaker and mountain photographer whose images were published in photography books.

Reist, who was born in Bern and died in 2000 aged 79, might have been of small stature but was a man of many talents. Not only did he embody post-war alpine mountaineering and mountain photography, he also published countless books of photographs and shone as a gifted storyteller. 

On his tours throughout Switzerland, audiences – young and old – packed into halls to see his slideshows and hear his stories first hand. These lectures formed a significant part of his income. 

As a result, Reist was one of the first elite mountaineers with star appeal, and inspired today's hi-tech multimedia presentations that are staged as events and platforms for sponsors. 

(Text: Renat Kuenzi, swissinfo.ch; images: Dölf Reist / Swiss Alpine Museum)