A few days backed, I mentioned that climber/photographer/Everest historian Jake Norton was exploring what really happened to George Mallory and Sandy Irvine back on June 8, 1924. In that post, I noted that Jake was more than qualified to speculate on the situation having been a part of the 1999 team that discovered Mallory’s remains, and then later personally discovering Mallory’s Camp VI.
He’s also climbed along the same route, and spent plenty of time on Everest, so he knows the area very well.
In Part I of his look at the Mallory and Irvine story, Jake gives us a lot of background information and lays out the facts as we know it. He includes a first hand account by Noel Odell, a team mate of the climbers, who was the last person to see them alive as they scrambled up the Everest’s North Ridge, less than 1000 feet beneath the summit.
He also examines the artifacts and evidence that have been found since their disappearance, and puts it all into context in regards to what it was like to climb the mountain back in 1924.
Today, Jake posted Part II of the story, which moves into the area of speculation on his part. Jake freely admits that we have no way of knowing for sure what happened on the mountain that day, but knowing what he does about Mallory and his climbing abilities, not to mention the pressure on him to succeed, Jake weaves together a compelling account of what could have happened to the two British climbers who were setting out to make history. He even proposes a creative, and most likely over looked, way for Mallory and Irvine to overcome the daunting Second Step, one of the major obstacles on the North Side of the mountain.
And what happened after that? Well, you’ll just have to read Jake’s article to see if he actually thinks they reached the summit or not. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it. We’re also told to stay tuned for Part III, in which he’ll share with us his thoughts on the harrowing descent that Mallory and Irvine surely faced. Can’t wait!
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