At the age of 23, George Band was the youngest member to be chosen for the first successful Everest Expedition in 1953 led by Colonel John Hunt (later Lord Hunt) when Hillary and Tenzing reached the summit on 29th May just before the Coronation. Two years later with Joe Brown on Charles Evans'Expedition, he was the first to climb Kangchenjunga, at 28,169, the world's third highest peak, then the highest unclimbed. Out of respect for the Sikkimese, who consider the mountain sacred, the top was left untrodden. In between these and other expeditions in the 1950s to the Alps, Karakoram, Peru and the Caucasus, he proved a popular lecturer.
Since the mid-1980s he has been Chairman of the Mount Everest Foundation, President of the Alpine Club, on the Council of the Royal Geographical Society, President of the British Mountaineering Council and Chairman of the Mountain Training Trust. He is also currently Chairman of the Alpine Club Library.