Map showing the location where Xu Jing
said he saw a body in 1960. ©EverestNews.com
of the EverestNews.com
Exclusive Interview with Xu Jing who found Sandy Irvine in 1960 on Everest
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.
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.
[" "] are direct quotes from Xu
Jing. Comments in italics are the journalist comments or notes.
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
“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
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:
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..
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Part Three is here.
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