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  Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter: Be careful what you ask for...


Hazard, Mallory, Beetham and Irvine aboard SS California, Liverpool 29th February 1924, en route for Darjeeling The Sandy Irvine Trust, UK.  Not to be reproduced without permission

Update 6/8/2004: Be careful what you ask for...

On May 27th 2004, our climbers found a body above 8000 meters on the North Face of Everest. It would be hard to imagine finding a body in worse shape. They described the body as "headless", with severely broken bones. The chest area of the body was heavily damaged. The body was not covered with stones when they found it (i.e., it had not been buried by earlier climbers). The body with broad shoulders was found with shoulders pointing downhill. Only one "leather boot" was found; its size was estimated around 9-10.  Nothing was on the wrists (no wristwatch, bracelet, etc.). The climber wore handmade socks and had no gloves on. The hands were black and bone. No harness of any kind was found on or near the body, nor any rope. The body was given a legal burial.

The climbers initially thought the body was Chinese based on two letters written in blue ink inside the boot. However, the handwritten letters inside the boot are written in English and no other signs point to a Chinese climber so far. Our people who were on the mountain believe the body is not Sandy Irvine. Unfortunately, the findings need to be studied to determine who this climber is. The identity of this body is going to be very hard to determine because of the condition of the body.

History, of course, tells us that only 2 climbers died above 8000 meters on Everest's North Side: Sandy Irvine and Wu Tseng-Yue before 1985.

An old oxygen bottle was found above 8400 meters. The oxygen bottle is interesting, in that, if we assume the details on the 1960 or 1975 Everest Chinese expeditions from Detectives On Everest are true, the bottle is not from those Chinese expeditions. This bottle is clearly not a modern bottle, and the bottle is higher than others went. So who could this bottle be from, or is history wrong??

Several other items were found in various locations, including at least 4 other bodies above 8300 meters, some of which were just photographed because of their locations. We are currently attempting to identify these other bodies.

We currently have many more questions than answers. Hopefully in the next several weeks we can sort out the details and attempt to determine fact. In the meanwhile, we will tell the story of this year's expedition from the beginning, so you can better understand what was going on...

We went to Mount Everest in search of an answer.

Dispatches

 
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