Monday, 1 February 2010

Hunt for lost camera on Everest

The hunt for Mallory and Irvine's lost camera is becoming the Holy Grail of Mountaineering. As the Adventure Blog reports, this Spring will see yet another expedition heading to Everest in the hope of finding the Vest Pocket Kodak that may just prove that the mountain was climbed in 1924.

Just to recap, George Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine were part of the third attempt on the 'Third Pole,' as Edward Whymper once dubbed it. On June 6 1924, the two climbers set out from their high camp at 23,100 feet to make a bid for the summit. They were last spotted on the afternoon of June 8 by Noel Odell who saw them near the Second step, a rock step at the base of the "summit pyramid."

discovery of Mallory's body in 1999 reignited the debate as to whether they were in fact the first to reach the summit, nearly three decades before Hillary and Tenzing. Evidence cited that they had indeed been successful included the fact that there was no sign of a photograph of Mallory's wife Ruth on his body suggesting that he'd placed it on the summit. However, there was no concrete proof in the form of the camera and film.

Now, Everest historian, Tom Holzel, claims to have used high resolution satellite photos to try and locate the body of Irvine. Plenty of detail can be found on the
Velocity Press site.

Meanwhile, on the Nepalese side of the Everest, a Sherpa led expedition is planning to clean up more than two tonnes of rubbish discarded in the "death zone", the area above 8,000 metres. Almost 4,000 people have climbed the mountain since 1953 and the higher slopes are littered with everything from old flags, tents, human waste and even a couple of dead bodies that have been there for years.

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