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

Preview of my own theory about what happened to Mallory and Irvine -

Mallory's Notes - a synopsis

On Jochen Hemmleb's website, he re-interprests the note that Mallory sent to expedition photographer and filmmaker John Noel on where to look for him on their ill-fated final climb. Hemmleb has them traversing the Yellow Band at 8 AM, instead of under the summit pyramid as Mallory so clearly states in his note.

I don't agree with this conclusion.

Here are some relevant quotes found in the Everest literature that Hemmleb cites. In addition, I have included the most important quote of all, which Hemmleb has ignored, and that is Noel's written account of his conversation with Mallory giving exactly where to look for him.

“We’ll probably start early to-morrow (8th) in order to have clear weather.
It won’t be too early to start looking out for us either crossing the rockband under the pyramid or going up skyline at 8 p.m. – Mallory’s last note to John Noel

 “[The porters] brought a very optimistic note from Mallory saying that Noel should look out for them at the base of the final pyramid at 8 a.m. to-morrow”  - Geoffrey Bruce’s camp diary

”I was surprised [...] to see them so late at this, namely, 12.50, at a point that, according to Mallory’s schedule, should have been reached by 10 a.m. at latest.” –Noel Odell, “The Fight for Everest, 1924”

In Noel’s book about the expedition, he relates the following discussions he had with Mallory about where to look for him -

“……Mallory told me himself, when he talked to me of his possible routes up the final pyramid and told me where to watch for him, that he expected to go up the northeast of the final pyramid, but if he found the Gully particularly bad he would take the eastern ridge, missing the Gully by passing across the head of it and gaining better protection from the west wind.”

Noel's View from Eagle's Nest

Noel's view from Eagle's Nest (copyright John Noel)

Notice the number of times the final pyramid is mentioned - I will be embellishing more in my final article!

 

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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.