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  Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter: Xu Jing Part 2

Map showing the location where Xu Jing said he saw a body in 1960. ©EverestNews.com

Part 2 of the EverestNews.com Exclusive Interview with Xu Jing who found Sandy Irvine in 1960 on Everest

To review the basics:

The interview was taped and the tape was reviewed with a second  translator ensure correct translations.


Xu Jing, Deputy leader of the leader of the 1960 Chinese Expedition to Everest. Xu Jing was also part of the 1958 expedition, and the leader of the 1964 Chinese expedition. Mr. Xu's belief in communal effort means he uses the Chinese word "women" which means "we" a lot, instead of "wo" which means the singular "I". "Women" can refer to either himself or to the group as a whole -- Chinese people are often very inexact about these things, particularly older ones.


Quotes [" "] are direct quotes from Xu Jing. Comments in italics are the journalist comments or notes.


Ok, more answers.

To the question: Was Xu carrying a camera, did he take pictures of Sandy's body?

“By this stage we had ditched a lot of stuff, including my camera, which was a good one, a Leica – something I regret because we should have taken pictures up there to prove we were there. I’ll know the next time!”

[So we have another lost camera on Everest!]

To the question of what position was the body in? lying down, sitting up? Which way was he facing--face down, face up, lying on side....

“The body was lying straight, facing up and the feet were pointing towards Everest.”

On what the body looked like:

"It was dark. Even if it was in daytime and you could see the face..."

        To the question of routes up and down the mountain, the Chinese took. And the question as to whether the body was on the Ridge of Everest...

I will forward the map but he says they found the body around half way between First and Second Step.

“We took roughly the same route down as we did going up but I don’t remember exactly, I was in a lot of pain.

“I saw the body on the side, it was a good bit along from the First Step, on the Ridge.”

“But we had enough evidence. I saw their camp. I saw their equipment. Whether they reached the peak is a mystery.

To the question of the map:

Our journalist is forwarding the original map via mail from China. Our journalist labeled the above map so you could see where Xu Jing marked the location of the body. Our journalist said Xu Jing marked the map locating the body (which Xu refers to as "Irvine" most of the time instead of a "body") on the ridge between the Steps).

To the question about what happened to some of these artifacts:

 “We brought back oxygen bottles and ropes and gave them to the Chinese Mountaineering Association. We hope to set up a museum at some stage but I’m not sure if they’ve preserved them.”

Next Part 3 (last part) Xu Jing's comments on what was found in 1975 and more..

EverestNews.com: Thanks for all the e-mails and support. Feel free to submit your comments to and thank you for your support.

Part Three is here.


This copyrighted content is exclusive to EverestNews.com and may not be used on any other website or news media. © 2004 EverestNews.com

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