[your] climbers are right [correct], that Sandy is the person your one source saw in the
location he described to you.
1. Can you tell us more precisely where the
Since Sandy's body is not there, is there reason to keep this information
A. EverestNews.com: That is a valid question, and one in
which we have pondered
very carefully and need to continue to consider in
the future. We would, of course, speak with the family before releasing that
information. As we discussed earlier, we agreed with the Irvine family not to
reveal the location. We plan on keeping our word. We can say the location was
above 8400 meters, and we might or might not get more specific later.
One could argue that since Sandy was not there when we went
to the location, then it would be an open field day. There are several questions
that we must decide here. 1.) If we were to reveal the location would we be
breaking our word to the Irvine family. 2.) Would 4 or more expeditions be
there next year to then search the fall line? Do we want to be party to that
chaos? NO. What is the probability he fell over the other side? Do we want to
go back and do the job ourselves and therefore keep it quiet? No. But maybe
some of our climbers do. If we publish the information and someone goes there
(or searches the fall line) and finds Sandy and publishes the pictures of his
dead body, then did we contribute to that? In that case, yes. And we do NOT
want to contribute to that. In our opinion, if Sandy's body fell even several
hundred meters; his body is going to be in a horrible state. For example, when
we asked Tom Holzel about his opinion of publishing a picture of Wu, he
thought we should. Once we showed him a picture, he stated "NO". Another
possibility could be to reveal the location to another expedition that would
agree in writing to abide by the Irvine family's wishes. These are complex
issues, but there is time. As you get older, you learn to take your time.
EDITORIAL SIDE BAR: We feel there needs to be a real
discussion regarding what to do with the dead bodies on Everest, and frankly
the state of the dead bodies on Everest. These bodies are NOT simply frozen in
time. These bodies are decaying. They are horrible to look at and in at least
some cases are not being left "alone".
As to the location, we see no reason to release it at this
time. If you recall, we asked others if they wanted to go look, but no one seemed
interested. Everyone has a theory of their own. It is probably best if the
others keep working on their theories and we finish this one off now that we
started it, if there is more to do on our theory.
Q. Along George's fall line?
A. EverestNews.com: Neither we nor any of our climbers
believe George Mallory fell from up high from the ridge or even anywhere
close to the ridge.
far from George's body was Sandy's body? If a long distance (and not on
George's fall line), [do you have] any ideas on how and where George's rope broke? (We all
assumed they were roped together when George fell). Does Sandy's location back
that up, the “roped-together theory”, or or would their disparate locations
make that unlikely? For example, does this mean they separated before George
A. EverestNews.com: If the "old dead" that our source found
was Sandy Irvine, then we must conclude that they were NOT roped together when
George fell. We do NOT believe George's injuries are consistent with a fall of
any more than a few feet. His injuries are surely not consistent with a fall
of 300 meters. Our theory is they separated several hours before George fell.
Did the climber who [told us he]
saw the old dead say if he saw an oxygen bottle on the back of the old dead?
A. EverestNews.com: The climber stated to us that when he
saw the old dead body in army colored clothes and that he was then frightened.
Therefore, he went another way. He stated he did not see the face. He stated
the climber did not have a down suit or jacket on.
don't quite understand the team's theory. Do they believe the climber in fact
A. EverestNews.com: Yes! Our team interviewed the climber
who saw the "old dead" and our team believes the climber's statements. They
believe it all adds up to him having found Irvine’s body. We even recorded the
interview on film and have reviewed it many times. What he saw could only have
been the body of Sandy Irvine, unless he somehow imagined something. However,
based on his "word", who else could you conclude he saw? We now know
where Wu and Mallory are at and they are not near this location. History, says
no other old bodies are up there.
You seemed fairly confident
before the expedition that you would find the camera, either on Sandy or close
A. EverestNews.com: Because we had live people who told us
where to go.
Q. Suppose the bottle is
Sandy's. (Which seems likely, given the letters you found on it.) Does it
make sense that another climber, many decades later, might find it at another
spot, pick it up, find it still had oxygen, then use it?
A. EverestNews.com: No, if the bottle is Sandy's that does
not make sense. However, if the bottle is NOT Sandy's, which is maybe what
you meant to say, then yes, I think we covered that a few days back. That is
Tom Holzel's theory. That another climber—possibly one on the Chinese 1960
expedition--found it, saw that it still had oxygen in it, picked it up, and
carried it up. We are warming-up to his theory.
I'm a complete amateur, but that
seems like a stretch.
A. EverestNews.com: The question is, if the bottles is NOT
Sandy's then how does it get there??? Holzel has the only theory so far. We
are open to any other ideas.
Q. If the bottle is Sandy's,
to me that suggests the body was Sandy's as well. Am I jumping to conclusions
A. EverestNews.com: No. That would seem very logical.
I'd be real interested to hear
several opinions now on what happened back on June 8, 1924. Always enjoy Holzel's ideas. Also the team's thoughts, and whether EverestNews.com has any
official opinions. It's been fascinating. The
mountain does not easily give up her secrets!
A. EverestNews.com: Yes we have an official theory, and you
got most of it out of us! We hope to put it all on paper in the coming
An old fashioned Q&A. With hundreds of e-mails a day it is tough to keep up with
the everestnews.com e-mail, so submit your questions to
and we will try to answer them
as a group to be more effective. If you feel we missed your question (many
questions are similar, please re-submit it. We have one more large set to
We went to Mount Everest in search of an answer.
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