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  Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter Everest 2005:

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


Photo Tom West Everest 2004 Expedition©EverestNews.com

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

It is interesting that when you speak to the Chinese, they want to tell you about the body they found in ABC (who Xu Jing refers to as the first body.) Why? Because, the body they found in base camp was not supposed to be there. The Chinese knew Mallory and Irvine has died on Everest, they did not know Wilson had died at ABC.

A little background: Mr. Liu Lianman is the Chinese climber who climbed the Second Step on Everest only to stop his summit attempt in 1960, while the other climbers went on...

“I’m 74 years old this year. In my 20s, I was a worker in Harbin Electrical Machinery Plant. At that time, the State Labour Union was in charge of mountain climbing team, not the National Sports Bureau. That was in the year 1955, the chairman of China’s State Labour Union paid a visit to the former Soviet Union. The Russians suggested that the two countries should climb a high mountain together. The Union chairman readily agreed and soon selected four persons to study mountain climbing in Soviet Union, they are Xu Jing, Shi Xiu, Zhou Zheng and Yang Deyuan.”

            “Then it was decided that China and Russia would climb a mountain no less than 7,000 meters high in 1956. In the labor union system, people qualified to climb mountains were looked for. Harbin Electrical Machinery Plant was ordered to recommend one person. I used to be an athlete of track  and field before joining the plant, so I was chosen for the task.”

            “In those years, your personal will was not taken into consideration. Nobody cared whether you liked the sport or not. So I was chosen, alongside 60 others from all over the country. That was at the end of 1955. After a half year’s training in China, 10 people were selected from among the 60. I was one of the ten. Then the 10 of us were sent to Russia to study in June 1956.”

            “China and Russia broke up with each other in 1959 and the Russian experts all left China. The Chinese state leaders instructed us to climb a high mountain independently, to show the world that Chinese can achieve it without outside support. We did a lot of preparations and carried out the climbing of the Everest in 1960.”

            “At 6,600 meters we found the body of a foreign pioneer climber. As no Chinese had ever climbed Everest by that time, we knew that it must be a foreigner. But from the body itself, it was hard to tell the nationality. You can tell it is human, but that’s all. The flesh toward the sun was rotten. Although it is 6,600 meters high, it is warm when there is sunlight. The flesh against sun was frozen. The clothes were so old that only strips of cloth still remained. You know, the body might have been there for over 30 years. As we were all inexperienced we were quite afraid, thinking that seeing a dead person on our way was sign of bad luck. But we gathered up courage and buried the body with ice and snow.”

            “In my 18 years in the climbing team, I climbed Everest six or seven times. But I never reached the peak for different reasons. It is a great pity for me. I faced death no less than ten times. But I don’t think that forges my personality to any degree. In those years everyone was a firm Communist.”

EverestNews.com Exclusive Interview with 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 meters 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 from the British equipment and took it back to China to study.

Much more on the Chinese later...

Can you help out?

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

Dispatches

We return to Mount Everest in search of an answer.

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