Left: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine © RGS/The Sandy Irvine Trust, from "Ghosts of Everest" ; Right: 1924 North Face locations © Pete Poston
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"I'm quite doubtful if I shall be fit enough. But again I wonder if the monsoon will give us a chance. I don't want to get caught, but our three-day scheme from the Chang La will give the monsoon a good chance. We shall be going up again the day after tomorrow. Six days to the top from this camp!"

--from George Mallory's last letter to his wife prior to disappearing on Mt. Everest with his partner Andrew "Sandy" Irvine in 1924

"My face is in perfect agony. Have prepared two oxygen apparatus for our start tomorrow morning".

- Sandy Irvine's last diary entry

History of Mount Everest from 1903 - 1975 (copyright © 2005)

Reference: "Everest" 3rd ed, by Walt Unsworth

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1924: The Third British Everest Expedition to the mountain, led by Acting Leader Lt. Colonel Edward Norton after Brigadier General C.G. Bruce is indisposed due to a flare-up of malaria. As a result George Mallory is promoted to Climbing Leader. Geoffrey Bruce, Howard Somervell, and John Noel return from the previous year, along with newcomers Noel E. Odell and Andrew Comyn Irvine.

June 4th: After weeks of appalling weather, a string of camps are established on the northern side of the mountain, culminating in Camp 6 at 26,700 feet (8140 meters) on the North Ridge. Norton and Somervell attempt an oxygenless ascent, following an ascending diagonal line across the North Face of the mountain towards the Great Couloir. After Somervell is forced to give up at about 28,000 feet (8500 meters), Norton continues alone, reaching a high point of 28,126 feet (8570 meters) near the top of the Great Couloir, a height record not exceeded by anyone for the next 29 years!

June 8th: George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempt the summit using oxygen and Irvine's modified oxygen apparatus. Noel Odell, climbing in support below, catches a glimpse of the climbers at 12:50 pm ascending a "great rock step" on the NE Ridge above. According to Odell they were behind schedule but climbing "with alacrity"; the first of many climbers on Everest to go for the summit too late. Odell originally thought he spotted the two climbers ascending the Second Step, but later changed his mind to the First Step when told how difficult the Second Step looked to a later generation of Everest climbers (the 1933 British Expedition). During the 1933 expedition, Andrew Irvine's ice ax is found on the upper slopes of the mountain at about 27,690 feet (8440 meters) and approximately 250 yards (meters) east of the First Step. Eric Simonson's 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition discovers an oxygen bottle that belonged to the pair near the base of the First Step, and Mallory's remains were found at 26,750 feet (8150 meters), on a line vertically below the ice ax position. No evidence of a successful summit bid has been found, nor have any signs of the two climbers been found above the Second Step, the key to the route. Despite the lack of hard evidence, the debate on whether they reached the summit of Everest continues to this day.

1931: March 19: The Mount Everest Committee is re-established with Sir William Goodenough as Chair. Concerned of the growing reputation of American and German climbers - the latter having gained much experience on Kangchenjunga - the Committee makes inquiries into the possibility of another British expedition to Everest. Eventually the Dalai Lama gives "reluctant permission" so that "friendly relations may not be ruptured".

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News

If you're a devoted Mallory and Irvine fan, please visit my Mallory and Irvine forum.

New articles!

congratulations to the visitor from Seattle, WA who visited at 02:13:42 PM, Wed May 29. You are the 100,000th visitor to my webpage!

Spring 2013

According to the Huffington Post, super climbers Ueli Steck and Simon Moro, while attempting a new route on the SW Face of Everest, got into a fight with the Sherpas fixing ropes up the Lhotse Face. Here is Simon Moro's response given in an interview with Planet Mountain.

This is big news, indeed. In Graham Hoyland's new book (which you can pre-order on Amazon), he reveals that there was a sighting of Mallory in 1933, which has been kept a family secret all of these years. Check out this interview here

No news about any searches for Irvine this year, although there are always things brewing under the radar.

Jochen Hemmleb's documentary of his 2010 search for Irvine is now available with English translation.

The first fatality of the year - Everest icefall doctor Mingmar Sherpa was killed when he fell into a crevasse in the Western Cwn.

It was bound to happen. Using Google Earth, you can now trek to Mount Everest as viewed from street level. Google has also announced in the past that they plan to use climbers to photograph the way all the way to the summit.

Mark Horrell is an British climber who climbed the Northeast Ridge of Mount Everest in 2012. He has a great blog where he explains why he believes Mallory and Irvine summited in 1924. Horrell is also the author of numerous Kindle books about the history of the Himalaya which you can download from Amazon.com. Highly recommended reading.

Fall 2011

The politics of Mallory and Irvine continues - the British climbing establishment is quiet about Hemmleb's search but Holzel's is roundly condemned.

Spring 2011

Hemmleb has been spotted in Kathmandu, and will be searching again even though he says they won't be. He said the same thing last year, and we know how that turned out.

According to KSL.com, Graham Hoyland is searching this year as well.

UPDATE: Hemmleb is at Advanced Base Camp (ABC) on the North side with lots of heavy video cameras.

UPDATE: Hemmleb failed to find Irvine this year.

UPDATED - 4/19/11

The results of Hemmleb's 2010 search expedition were unsuccessful, and here is a map of where he looked (look for the Big and Little Cracks on the ridgecrest). Hemmleb also has posted his latest theories on his webpage, as well as some complaining about criticism.

Fall 2010

Who owns the camera? Who has the copyright to any images? Read these great articles on Tom Holzel's website.

Attention searchers! - Tom Holzel tells you how to handle the film

Did bad weather seal M&I's Fate? A recent article based on the actual weather conditions on June 8th, 1924, and Graham Hoyland's involvement with it.

Jake Norton - outstanding M&I theorist and historian. Read his blog here, and his three part theory of how M&I could have made the summit!

>> Spring 2004
>> Spring 2006
>> Fall 2006
>> Spring 2007
>> Summer 2008
>> Spring 2009
>> Summer 2009
>> Fall 2009
>> Winter 2010
>> Spring 2010
>> Fall 2010


 

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Articles and Editorials

Harvey V. Lankford, MD, has written a paper documenting the origin of the term "Glacier Lassitude" as a diagnosis for the debilitating effect of altitude as experienced by members of the early British Everest expeditions.

My new theory about Mallory and Irvine's last climb, where I believe Odell's sighting was erroneous, and have them taking the Couloir route instead.

Part 1: the ascent
Part 2: the descent

Warwick Pryce is a new researcher who has arrived on the scene, and he has a new theory about how Andrew Irvine could have been the first person to stand on the top of the world.

Wim Kohsiek has a new interpretation of what Mallory's altimeter can tell us based on scientific applications of meterology.

Mallory and Irvine researcher Wim Kohsiek has two new thought-provoking articles about Mallory's watch and Irvine's location:

Mallory's Watch - Does it Really Point to 12:50 PM?

1924 Oxygen by Richard McQuet and Pete Poston

Why the Camera and Film are not Doomed to Destruction!

The Politics of Mallory and Irvine

Why Andrew Irvine Will Not be Found in a Sleeping Bag! Part 1 and Part 2 on ExplorersWeb

Chomolungma Nirvana: The Routes of Mount Everest

Rust Marks on Mallory's Altimeter

Mystery of Mallory and Irvine's Fate Google Earth Tour - my own ideas in 3-D with audio!

Little Known Free-Solo Ascent of the Second Step in 2001 by Theo Fritsche - I should never have written this - Anker and Houlding deserve credit for the first free ascent

Criticisms of the 2004 EverestNews.com search for Irvine --

The Mystery of Mallory and Irvine's Fate (with J. Hemmleb): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5.

Mallory and Irvine - Comments on the 'real Second Step' route: Part 1 and Part 2

Conrad Anker's comments on the unlikeliness of a direct route up the prow of the 2nd Step

Articles about my heroes Walter Bonatti and Chris Bonington --

Spilling the Beans - Lino Lacedelli's Book "Price of Conquest: Confessions from the First Ascent of K2" Part 1 and Part 2

The Life and Climbs of Chris Bonington, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 final - interview

About Me

Celebrating my 50th birthday on pitch 3 of Prodigal Son, Zion National Park, Utah

In my free time, I love to photograph and hike the spectacular redrock wilderness of the Colorado Plateau - please visit my Colorado Plateau Homepage.

And for most of my life I've been fascinated with the history, people, and culture of the Himalayas and Karakoram - browse my Mount Everest Trek (1996), Overland Journey from Kathmandu to Lhasa (2000), and K2 Base Camp Trek (2007) webpages.

As for my employment, I work for Western Oregon University where I have been a Professor of Chemistry for the last 20 years. My research interests are in applications of Laser Raman Spectroscopy to such diverse fields as Nanotechnology, Analytical Chemistry, and even a bit of Achaeology through the study of rock art pigments found in the Colorado Plateau. You can access my academic webpage here.