there any connection to the presumed location of Sandy Irvine on the old snow
slab and the fall line of George Mallory?
A. EverestNews.com: Of course no one knows today if there is
or was a fall line of George Mallory, but we assume you mean from the fall
lines of the ice axe, etc.
Is there a connection between where the ice axe was found and the
"very old dead" location? There could be; now how does one prove
a connection? Still developing....as we are
currently studying this question...
Q. Is there any significance to
the fact that George Mallory did not have a camera with him when found?
To me this means that Sandy
had the camera and was attempting to summit with George. If he had
decided to rest and not go with Mallory to summit, then he would have given
the camera to George and it would have been found on Mallory.
A. EverestNews.com: We don't know if George had a camera, or
for a fact if either of them had a camera for sure. You know the rest...
thanks for this fascinating story: like many others I'm sure I've been coming
back almost daily to learn more - and I'm not a climber, just intrigued by the
mystery. Assume your theory is right: that the "old dead" was Sandy Irvine,
that his body has fallen, and [LET’S
ALSO ASSUME ] Irvine
turned back and Mallory went on alone. It seems that (a) the chances of
finding the camera are now very slim indeed; (b) it would probably be useless
if found, but more importantly (c) it would show little or nothing, because it
never went to the summit even if Mallory got there? That seems to make it
likely that the only chance of hard evidence (and I've avoided the word
"proof" after reading all your dispatches!) of Mallory's success will be in
finding some other artifact somewhere else. Would you agree? Are there any
or do you think you've shown that time and the mountain are ultimately going
to keep Mallory's secret?
A. EverestNews.com: Yes we agree in general. The data for
Mallory is the quote in “the Fight for Everest, 1924” is: "They passed
Howard Somervell, who loaned his camera to Mallory". Carr’s book “The
Irvine Diaries” even mentions that Irvine had taken with him “Noel’s pocket
cinema,” which suggests he had a small motion picture camera of a type known
to exist. After no camera was found on Mallory, the stories started that the
camera (s) was given to Sandy.
The claim that Mallory took a Kodak VPK Model B is also
mistaken. The "Vest Pocket Model B," which Mallory used on Everest, was only
introduced in America in the spring of 1924," according to Tom Holzel. Even
if some one had purchased one in the US and sent it by boat to England, it
could not have reached the climbers before they left.
But again, we don't know if either of them had a camera for sure.
Thank you for your fascinating account. I am assuming the "climber" says he
saw the "Old Dead" in the past few years. Knowing this, I find it hard to
believe that Sandy's body sat in its final position for 75 years and then,
just when someone came to identify it, it slipped away. Too ironic for me. I
am of the belief that he is still there and the "climber" either gave the
wrong location (not intentionally) or you missed the body. I always tell my
kids when they can't find something to try looking in a different place.
Don't keep looking in the same place.
A. EverestNews.com: This year we brought a high
definition camera to the mountain and
shot film and so far, we can't find Sandy in the film. We do have more film to
look at, but in the area were the "very old body" was supposed to be, there is no body. The area is a
somewhat small area, not a large area to cover. Our climbers tell us they covered it
twice on two different days. They did not want to go back a second day. We
told them they "had" too... One of the few things we told them they 'had" to do.
Frankly, we believe bodies on Everest move. Not George
Mallory, after he was partially buried, but these other bodies seem to
move. George Mallory's body might have moved before he became partially buried. Some
climbers who go back year after year tell us the mountain changes. We are not
sure we understand that statement, but the point is, things change and move
around up there. What might be the hardest part of the climber's theory is, why
did Sandy's body stay in one place for so long? Then again, when did the
mountains start to melt heavily? Maybe someone could look into that for us....
We recall in the 70's, when people said the ice age was coming back in America
when he had those really bad winters.
[Question continued] How about widening your search? Also why is your group
so adverse to returning? I would have thought your interest would bring you
back. Thank you so much for sharing your story. PLEASE write a book!!!!!!!
A. EverestNews.com: We went to "look", but we did search in
the end, that is how we found Wu. We went many places that others never went
before, probably not even George and Sandy!
There are other places we would look if we
had to go do this again, but this costs so much money and the risk to life
does exist in searching the mountain. Our greatest fear was losing a climber.
There is a high risk of life in climbing
Mt Everest, all the more so off the beaten track. Being safe was our number
one concern on the expedition.
We have 2 other really big projects on our list. One is for Spring of
2005 or Spring of 2006 and one for Summer of 2005/2005. Massive funding
for the Spring 2005 project.
We do have a minor "fever" to go back, but we will see.
We paid much of this first expedition out of our pockets and that would be hard
to do again...
Could you please restate EverestNews.com's position and theory on George
Mallory/Sandy Irvine's demise on that fateful day. Reading all the Q and A
has somewhat blurred what your position is on all of this, or is at least hard
to see clearly what you feel actually has happened.
A. EverestNews.com: We need to cut this Q&A
off, and then focus on several things, one of which to put our
[EverestNews.com] theory on paper. So hopefully within the next 2-3 weeks,
maybe sooner we can publish "our theory" on EverestNews.com. Of course, you
can see much of it in the Q&A answers. "The Team's Theory"
is published here. Our theory will expand on that which we believe might
have happened in 1924.
say Hillary was first to summit and even if proof reveals Mallory summited,
Hillary was first because he made it back. THIS IS WRONG: If Mallory
Summited first, he summited. He may not be first to return but he summited
first and that is it.
A. EverestNews.com: We think at the end of the day, it should be
about the experience, but that is only our opinion.
Q & A series has been fantastic and I check the website every day for the next
installment. You mention that your theory is that George Mallory reached the
summit of Mt. Everest. My question revolves around timing. If Odell last saw
them in the afternoon crossing over the 2nd step, (some say it very well could
have been the 1st step), then they still had several hours of grueling
climbing ahead of them just to get to the summit. And at daylight his
companions where looking for him and had no trace of any movement on the
mountain. Could Mallory, in an exhausted state and without supplemental
oxygen, have made it all the way up to the summit and back down, (in the
dark), to the area above the fall line of where his body was found by the next
morning? Thank you and best of luck to the research team.
A. EverestNews.com: We believe he could have made the
summit; it would have been in the late afternoon, similar to other climbers
today that summit in the last afternoon. His chances of making it back down
alive would have been slim. We don't
buy the simple fall theory, because the body is not as broken up as others
(e.g. Wu) who fell less distance.
You're doing a great job with this.... My question, I don't think I've read
anywhere that you believe that the "old dead" your climber found, and that you
went to investigate, is the same body that was revealed to Simonson's crew by
the Chinese climber...the one in the small ravine and [in a ] deteriorating sleeping
bag. Do you think they could possibly be one in the same? Thank you
A. EverestNews.com: At least 3 different groups interviewed
that Chinese climber. Simonson, The Sunday Times, and the BBC. Our sources told
us the story was weak, with details far and few. The sleeping bag makes no
sense to anyone. Therefore, it is very hard to tell if they could be the
same. Based on what we were told about the "very old body" and what was reported the Chinese
climber said about an "old body", they are not the same. But again,
reports in the English press have done a poor job in the past of reporting on
Chinese activities, probably because of translations problems. We obviously had much more faith
in our source and information as we let the others go search first this year.
Actions usually speak louder than words...
Again, Thanks for the kind information you provide. Now it seems that Mallory
and Irvine made it to the second step based on all I've ever read. And then
possibly Irvine helped Mallory surmount the second step but was unable to
follow for some reason. A.) Unable to surmount the second step?
A. EverestNews.com: Unable to surmount the second step, not
at all! We believe that Sandy Irvine was completely “able” to surmount any
obstacle Everest presented. He was also a team player and would have done
whatever necessary to put a team member on the summit
Could have Mallory needed a boost?
Helping some one up by letting them stand on your shoulders was a known
technique of Mallory’s.
B) Possible timing and the though that if Mallory had all the oxygen that
was left to himself he could make the summit?
A. EverestNews.com: Could he? A man can make the summit
without oxygen, we of course know that, and once over the second step, what would stop him?
It is possible...
C) Possible Irvine was to wait there to help Mallory with the down-climb of
the second step.
A. EverestNews.com: Yes, possibly! That would seem to be one
explanation why Sandy's body would be below the second step, but still so
high up on the mountain.
Also, no one knows that they would have
taken the traditional route to climb the Second Step. Today everyone
approaches the Second Step from well below the ridge and must climb a series
of steep faces just to get up to the base of the crux of what is called the
Second step—the 15-ft open book which is now sports a ladder. However, it is
possible to approach the Second step by staying on the NE Ridge and climbing
the "real" second step. Several options exist besides the normal route of
D) Possible Irvine was supposed to return to camp and bring more oxygen
back and meet Mallory (maybe not possible) or just wait at camp.
A. EverestNews.com: Possibly, very hard to say.
E) [Is it] Possible that Irvine attempted to return to camp and somewhere near the
"Ice Axe Site" [then] gave up making it back alone to camp.. "[Became] lost in
confusion...possible due the snow storm, [then]....lost his axe in the
confusion.....also lost the mitten that was
found....as he probably gave Mallory all the oxygen for the summit bid he
could have been suffering from coming off
oxygen. Thus he
to the mystery location where he huddled up and eventually, as Mallory never
A. EverestNews.com: Possibly!
this is assumed, then Mallory went for the summit, while Irvine waited, or what
ever, below the second step. Mallory then either reaches the summit, or
doesn't, (I'm betting he made it as I want all the effort they made to be
rewarded) but upon returning to the top of the second step, either because he
can not locate Irving's assistance, or he is exhausted from his climb,
decides not to attempt a down-climb of the second step, I'm not sure if 30'
of rope is enough for this, opting for the couloir towards Norton's
highpoint. "I assume he knew of Nortons highpoint and may have realized this
was his only chance" (I'm really not sure this is easier down-climb or more
difficult), but this could put him lower on the mountain, then traverse across
the face which would put him much lower on the mountain, thus a shorter fall
to where the body now lies. "Because this is what I want to believe Mallory
really believes that Sandy is back at camp"
I really can't imagine both
of them making it to the second step and Irvine dying there and then Mallory
dying lower on the mountain where he was found. Something else had to
happen. It could be as simple as Irvine being a pack mule and carrying oxygen
as high as he could for Mallory's summit attempt. Maybe? My son and I thank
you again for your time and effort.
A. EverestNews.com: We agree. With that
said, do we still need to write up our theory?
Mallory was not roped to Irvine, because of Irvine's' possible location as
someone touched on earlier, then perhaps Mallory tied off to belay himself
down a steep part of his descent route, when the rope broke sending Mallory on
a drop he was completely unable to stop. Not because of a misplaced step, but
because of the condition of rope. An outside chance probably but just maybe.
If Mallory was alone when he
fell then why wasn't Irvine safe back at camp having let George go without
A. EverestNews.com: Maybe he was waiting for George to come
your opinion, why would Sandy be where you searched? Why would he end up in
that location? We can't think of any other reason why a "very old body" would
be above 8400 meters. Can you? We would love to hear other opinions.
A. EverestNews.com: Our opinion is, it appears that he
might have waited on George "to come back" and then at some point gave
up on George coming back and started heading down...
We would love to hear other
Also, why do think Irvine's location, might suggest that Mallory was alone on
that descent? Just curious as to your opinion on that. Sorry it's so long, but
I am fascinated by this whole mystery. Thanks for your courage on the mountain
and your sense of decency and respect to all those involved.
A. EverestNews.com: Because we know where George Mallory's
body is, and how
can Sandy be so far from George if they were together??? Of course it is NOT
proven where Sandy died. To us, it suggests Mallory was alone
Q. Did you sell the movie, or Book rights to the expedition?
A. EverestNews.com: No.
Q. What about the expedition's right? Photos, etc?
A. EverestNews.com: We did sell some of the photo rights to
help fund the expedition.
Q. Did any of the others who had searched for Mallory and
Irvine before, offer you locations to search in 2004?
A. EverestNews.com: No, with the exception on Tom Holzel.
Q. Did they give you inside information? or fill you in on what the
Chinese climber said?
A. EverestNews.com: No.
yours is a great and dignified contribution. The logical question is if Sandy
was waiting for George who never returned, then did George follow a different
route to get back after he summited? Was there a predetermined route they had
agreed upon which somehow George could not follow later?
A. EverestNews.com: We think one key to this answer might be
the location of George's body and the lack to damage to the body. If George
did not fall to that location, how did he get there?
Q. If the "others searchers" believe George and Irvine fell
together, why are they searching up high? I have seen a private map of where
they searched this year, and it appears they searched little in the Chinese
yellow band location.
A. EverestNews.com: You would need to ask them.
have one question on my mind ever since the search for M&I has been started.
The Chinese had two expeditions on the north side in the sixties. For them it
was a matter of national pride to be the first ones to summit Everest from the
north. What makes you so sure that evidence from earlier summit attempts above
the second step have not simply been removed by them?
A. EverestNews.com: There is NO evidence that the
Chinese hid anything. They were very supportive of our expedition. Very! The
Chinese appear to want to help with this, maybe they want it over too!!!
Q. How can I help? (we received several questions like
A. EverestNews.com: Interesting question, let's us get back
Did you ever see the picture like the one below before?? We
have not received one single question on any of our pictures, which surprised
We ask that you hold your questions for now,
but feedback and thoughts are always welcome at EverestNews.com
We went to Mount Everest in search of an answer.
Digital Altimeter, Barometer, Compass and Thermometer. Time/Date/Alarms.
Chronograph with 24 hour working range. Timer with stop, repeat and up
function. Rotating Bezel. Leveling bubble. Carabiner latch. E.L. 3 second
backlight. Water resistant. 4" x 2-1/4" x 3/4" 2 oz. Requires 1 CR2032
See more here.