The story of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine


The first documented attempt to reach the peak of mountain Everest was led by British explorers in 1921. George Mallory was a British man who participated in the first three attempts from 1921 to 1924 when he disappeared with his colleague, Andrew Irvine.

Quick facts:

-The highest point on Earth’s surface is Mount Everest. The mountain which is 8,848.86 meters above sea level is located between Nepal and Tibet.

-The first people to reach the top of the mountain were Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay(right)body. They reached the peak of the mountain on May 29, 1953.

-People who die while climbing the mountain are usually not removed. The standard practice at Mount Everest is to leave the bodies where they were found to act as mile markers and as a warning to potential climbers who may have ignored the warnings about the dangers they may face.

Human Body on Mount Everest

Additionally, it is very difficult to remove the bodies from the mountain because of the associated costs.

The Beginning

In his third attempt to reach the peak of the mountain, George Mallory disappeared without a trace in 1924.

The mystery behind the sudden disappearance of the explorer and his colleague would remain unsolved for 75 years until May 1, 1999, when the American climber, Conrad Anker, came across a well-preserved body on Mount Everest in an expedition that was dedicated to finding the remains of Mallory and Andrew Irvine.

Irvine (top left) and Mallory (top row, second from left), are pictured with the other members of the 1924 expedition to Everest

On the other hand, Andrew Irvine’s remains and the camera the two climbers were carrying are yet to be found.

When Mallory joined the British Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition in 1921, he had one goal: to reach the peak. In 1921, he traveled to Mount Everest with members of the expedition team. The purpose of this trip was to mark the best routes to the top of the mountain. However, this attempt was not successful as many of the climbers became sick. They made another unsuccessful attempt in 1922.

This is the famous last image taken of George Mallory (left) and Sandy Irvine before the pair were to disappear

Mallory was not going to allow anything thing deter him; he wanted to reach the peak when he was still young. The older he got, the more his chances of reaching the peak decreased. So, in 1924, when he was 37, he was on his way to the top of the mountain again. The team saw considerable success, and by the end of May 1924, they had set up their camp on the North Col.

The North Col refers to the sharp-edged pass carved by glaciers in the ridge connecting Mount Everest and Changtse in Tibet. It is located more than 20,000 feet above sea level, less than 9000 feet from the peak of the mountain.

To advance towards the peak Mallory and his partner, Andrew Irvine left the North Col on June 6th, and just two days later they were on their way to the top. They were very close to the top, 800 feet when they were last seen.

According to the reports of the people who saw them last, Mallory was very confident that they were going to reach the peak. Unfortunately, there was no record to prove if they reached the peak before losing their lives.

The finding of Mallory’s body in 1999 was made possible by a team of climbers called the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition. Using the clues from the research they had done before coming to the mount, they marked areas where the bodies of the men most likely would be.

Conrad Anker finds a body

American climber, Conrad Anker was the first to notice what appeared to be a large, smooth rock on the northern slopes. He came closer to have a better look and realized that what he had seen was not a rock but the body of a past climber, George Mallory.

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