Jake Norton Weighs In On Hoyland’s Theory

Yesterday I posted about Graham Hoyland’s theory that Mallory and Irvine took a different route up Everest than what has been traditionally believed in the past. He goes on to assert that had they taken that route, they may very well have topped out, 29 years before Hillary made his historic climb.

Today, Jake Norton has posted his thoughtson the subject in his always excellent MountainWorld Blog. Jake is in a unique position to comment on these theories, as he has been on Everest a number of times, was part of the expedition that found Mallory on the mountain, and even shared an expedition with Hoyland himself.

Jake goes right after the crux of Hoyland’s argument, that Mallory and Irvine by passed the Second Step, taking a lower, less difficult route. In Jake’s opinion, the area that Hoyland claims would hav emade for an easier climb, really isn’t all that much easier. In fact, he believes that it’s pretty much impassable and that the legendary climbers would not have gone that way.

The story is a very good read with some great reasons as to why Hoyland’s new theory isn’t likely to break any new ground. It should be noted that Jake does say that he believes that Mallory may indeed have made it to the top, but says he has no proof. Of course, we’ll never know for sure, unless the camera that the men had with them is ever found, which seems unlikely. Still, it is fun to speculate, and all these years later, we’re still discussing it.

Kraig Becker

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