A few weeks back I posted a story about British historian Tom Holzel who claims that he may have found the body of Sandy Irvine on Everest through the use of satellite imagery. He hoped to mount an expedition to the mountain this spring to examine the “oblong blob” that he identified as the remains of the climber, who has been missing since 1924, and possibly find a camera that has become the Holy Grail of Mountaineering. Unfortunately, an update on that expedition has been posted by ExWeb, and it seems that the search will be called off for this year due to the lack of funding.
According to the story, Holzel had sent out feelers to a number of benefactors, including Richard Branson, but none have stepped up to sponsor the search team, who would journey to the North Side of Everest to search for Irvine. Holzel reportedly told friends and supporters “The deadline for obtaining funding for a 2010 mini search expedition to Everest North side has passed”, signaling an end, at least for now, of the spring search efforts.
Irvine was the climbing companion of George Mallory when the two men set out to conquer Everest back back in 1924. They never returned from that expedition, and for years people had wondered about their fate and whether or not they had reached the top of the mountain. The duo carried a camera with them on that trip, and it has often been thought that if that camera could be found, it might prove definitively, one way or another, that that hey summitted the mountain. That camera was not on Mallory’s body when it was discovered back in 1999, and the search for Irvine’s remains have been a topic of debate ever since.
Personally, I think it’s a shame that this expedition isn’t going to be conducted this spring. It would be very interesting to see if the “blob” is indeed Irvine, and if he has the camera, what it could possibly show. I’ve remained skeptical all along as to whether or not he and Mallory ever reached the top, but it would be a major story if the camera was found and the film developed. I guess for now, the mystery will continue.
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