Home
   Today's News
   8000 Meters Facts
  
Banners Ads
   Bookstore
   Classified Ads
   Climb for Peace
  
Contact

   Downloads
  
Educational
  
Expeditions
  
Facts
  
Games
  
Gear
  
History
  
Interviews

   Mailing List
   Media

   Medical
  
News (current)
   News Archives
   Sat Phones
   Search
   Seven Summits
   Snowboard
   Speakers
   Students
   Readers Guide
   Risks

   Trip Reports
   Visitor Agreement

   Volunteer/help

 

  Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter Everest 2005:

Did George Leigh Mallory Summit Mt Everest?

Clues and the Chinese Part 1


Map showing the location where Xu Jing said he saw a body in 1960. ©EverestNews.com

At first we called last year's expedition, "Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter: The retrieval of the camera".  You might have noticed about half way into the expedition we dropped the part about "The retrieval of the camera".  Not because we believed the camera couldn't be found.  We no longer believed the camera would solve the mystery or whether George Mallory made the summit of Mt Everest.

Before the expedition, we believed what we had been told over the years: that the camera may hold photographs which could show if Mallory and Irvine summited Everest in 1924. However, our sources told us there was an old body up high up on the ridge of Everest.  This made us wonder. How could Sandy die high on the ridge, but George died much lower on the mountain, and Sandy had the camera with the summit shot?  It didn't make sense.

On June 8, 1924 Mallory & Irvine were spotted from below going over one of the last major obstacles of their route.  The summit of Mt. Everest was only a few hours away. Swirling mists closed in. They were never seen again. Their disappearance left unanswered a question that has haunted mountaineers ever since: did they reach the top?

In 1999 the Mallory and Irvine research expedition found Mallory's body at around 8100 meters. But that was not the first time someone had found Mallory. The Chinese found his body decades earlier, in 1975. Xu Jing says, "We saw the body of Mallory in 1975". While some did not believe the Chinese, they published this information widely: mainly in Chinese articles, but also in reports to Ms Hawley. For example Samdrup, one of the 1975 Summiters, wrote to Ms Hawley in 1996 that the Chinese found a body at 8100 meters. The Chinese were clearly right...

The Chinese also state they found Sandy Irvine on the ridge of Everest in 1960 (see the map above). While many again do not believe the Chinese, we believe them. They gave us too many corroborative facts not to believe them. Furthermore, climbers who came after the first Chinese climbers saw a body on the ridge too.

The Chinese found Sandy in 1960. In EverestNews.com's exclusive interview with Xu, he says, "I saw it [Sandy's body] with my own eyes. I didn't go up and check carefully. I only said to myself: Oh another victim. "

Xu Jing: “In those years China was cooperating a lot with the Soviet Union but they wouldn’t go with us. Before the Everest climb our record was 7,000 metres so we went to Beijing University where they recommended that we learn from the Royal Geographical Society’s magazine, which was very useful and inspirational. You could say we climbed the mountain inspired by the British pioneers. That is mountaineering – you learn from the experience of others. In 1958 I investigated the route. We tried every route but the British route was the most scientific, it was longer but it was safer.“ 

You see, the Chinese studied the reports of the British.  They probably knew 100 times more than any of us know today about the British expeditions. They picked up rope, oxygen bottles, and equipment the British left on Everest, and took it back to China to study.

Xu Jing refers to the body as "Irvine" most of the time instead of a "body" 

Let's continue with the Chinese for a minute to learn another clue.  Xu Jing says, "... persons climbed the Second Step one by one, but one person alone I think it's very unlikely. It's my personal opinion." 

Xu Jing is replaying this in his mind. He is thinking Sandy died alone on the ridge, so how could Sandy have made it up by himself?  Xu concludes Sandy probably did not summit based on him being alone on the ridge. And we agree with him that Sandy probably did not summit for several reasons. But Xu Jing is not thinking about a key point: how did George Mallory get to where the Chinese found him in 1975?

Sandy was NOT alone of the ridge that day, George was with him! George Mallory got down from the ridge.

The answer is simple. Either Mallory climbed the Second Step, leaving Sandy behind. Or Mallory turned around at the 2nd Step,and left Sandy on the ridge, climbed down alone, went past camp and then somehow turned around to the left and back up towards the mountain.

If George had been found to the right, we would not be spending our money!

Look at this a little more closely. Suppose George did turn around on the ridge and descend. If he passed camp, it is only logical that he stopped there or continued down the mountain. The alternative is almost unthinkable: that George passed camp, then turned left and headed back up the mountain along the North Face. It is far more likely that George summited Everest and came down the Great Couloir, a route he studied with Norton. Note that Messner only needed two hours to descend from the summit through the Great Couloir to a point far lower than where George Mallory's body was found. If one assumes George was 1/2 as fast as Messner on the descent (note Messner did not use oxygen) then one would estimate it took George about 2 hours to the point where he died from he summit.

Where is the Proof? On the Mountain of course!

In our opinion this is no longer about dead bodies. It is not about a camera Sandy Irvine may or may not have (with a picture of the ridge or Camp 6). This is about clues above the Second Step... 

Next: Clues and the Chinese Part 2: Why all of this talk about Wilson's body at ABC??

With our kindest regards and thanks, The Staff at EverestNews.com

We return to Mount Everest in search of an answer.

Dispatches

2005 Updates

A cold weather, high altitude double boot for extreme conditions The Olympus Mons is the perfect choice for 8000-meter peaks. This super lightweight double boot has a PE thermal insulating inner boot that is coupled with a thermo-reflective outer boot with an integrated gaiter. We used a super insulating lightweight PE outsole to keep the weight down and the TPU midsole is excellent for crampon compatibility and stability on steep terrain. WEIGHT: 39.86 oz • 1130 g LAST: Olympus Mons CONSTRUCTION: Inner: Slip lasted Outer: Board Lasted OUTER BOOT: Cordura® upper lined with dual-density PE micro-cellular thermal insulating closed cell foam and thermo-reflective aluminium facing/ Insulated removable footbed/ Vibram® rubber rand See more here.

 




 

   Ascenders

   Atlas snowshoes

   Atomic

   Big Agnes

   Black Diamond

   Brunton

   Carabiners

   Chaco

   Cloudveil

   Columbia
  
CMI

   Crampons

   Edelweiss ropes
  
Eureka Tents

   Exofficio

   FiveTen

   Featured

   FoxRiver

   Gregory

   Granite Gear

   Harnesses
  
Headlamps

   Hestra
  
Helmets

   Helly Hansen

   HighGear

   HornyToad
  
Ice Axes

   Julbo

   Kavu Eyewear

   Katadyn

   Kelty

   Kong

   Lekisport

   Life is Good

   Lowa

   Lowe Alpine

   Lowepro

   Millet

   Motorola

   Mountain Hardwear

   Mountainsmith

   MSR

   Nalgene

   New England Ropes

   Nikwax

   Omega

   Osprey

   Outdoor Research
  
Patagonia

   Pelican

   Petzl

   Prana

   Princeton Tec

   Primus

   Rope Bags

   Royal Robbins

   Salomon

   Scarpa

   Scott

   Seattle Sports

   Serius
  
Sleeping Bags

   Sterling Rope

   Stubai

   Suunto

   Tents

   Teva

   Thermarest

   Trango

   Tool Logic

   Trekking Poles
  
Yaktrax
  
and more here

 

 

Send email to  • Copyright© 1998-2014  EverestNews.com
All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Disclaimer, Privacy Policy, Visitor Agreement, Legal Notes: Read it