George Mallory -- Theory One
There are a lot of theories about what happened to George Mallory and Sandy
Irvine during their fatal attempt at summiting Everest in 1924.
Everyone has a theory and they're all different.
One theory, among many, is based on a couple of assumptions. First the big
one - they made it. The theory, based on Noel Odell's sighting of the
two men heading strongly for the top (and climbing the forbidding Second Step),
they climbed on after disappearing from view and reached the summit. Possibly,
they had started late, perhaps as a result of Irvine's necessary work on their
balky oxygen systems and ran into trouble during a
late descent (finding as many mountaineers do that the climb down from
Everest's summit is the real killer).
Secondly this theory assumes that George Mallory did not
fall from the North East Ridge, as many think he did. His body was found far
below the top
ridge and although he suffered from a broken right leg, his body was in-fact
not that badly damaged. It was certainly not mangled, as one would expect from
such a long fall. When one considers the ridges
and outcroppings that a body would be catapulted over on a fall from the ridge
to the known resting place it is hard to imagine a body in as good shape as
Mallory was discovered in.
Therefore the theory goes that after summiting Mallory came down a
different route, possibly via the Great Couloir
(which Messner used to avoid the
so as to avoid climbing back
down the Second Step, and was traversing the mountain back toward the route of
their original ascent when he fell a shorter, but still fatal distance and was
killed. Irvine continued on when he died either from exposure or a fall.
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