Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Wednesday, March 24, 1999 Published at 10:31 GMT

World: Europe

Expedition to rewrite Everest history

Two British climbers may have reached the summit in 1924

A team of mountaineers has set off for Mount Everest to solve a 75-year-old mystery and rewrite mountaineering history.

They will try to retrace the steps of British climbers George Mallory and Andrew Irvine who, some believe, were the first people to conquer Everest in 1924.

[ image: Sir Edmund Hillary: First or second to conquer Everest?]
Sir Edmund Hillary: First or second to conquer Everest?
That is almost 30 years before New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Nepalese Sherpa Tensing Norgay made their famous successful expedition.

Sir Edmund and Tensing Norgay reached the highest point on Earth on 29 May 1953. Since then, more that 750 climbers have taken the summit and 150 have died in the attempt.

Mallory and Irvine disappeared on the mountain and were believed to have been killed in a heavy blizzard.

Search for frozen camera

The team, which includes two Britons, 10 Americans, a German and 12 Nepalese Sherpa guides, hopes to prove that the pair were the first to reach the peak of Everest by finding their bodies and a Kodak camera carried by Mallory.

The mountain detectives believe that the camera may contain photos of the two on the summit. Eastman Kodak have confirmed that the frozen film could be processed as long as it has not been exposed to light.

Led by American Eric Simonson, the group is climbing up the northern, Chinese side and has several leads.

They will be looking for a body described by a Chinese climber in 1973 as that of a Westerner dressed in old-fashioned clothing. He discovered the body near the spot where Irvine's ice-axe was recovered in 1933.

Mallory and Irvine were last seen alive near the second step, the last major obstacle before the summit.

Geologist Noel Odell was 2,000ft below the men and said he believed he saw the men climb past the second step.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

08 Nov 98 | UK
Everest pioneer dies

Internet Links

Radar Image of Mount Everest - Nasa

Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Violence greets Clinton visit

Russian forces pound Grozny

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Next steps for peace

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Trans-Turkish pipeline deal signed

French party seeks new leader

Jube tube debut

Athens riots for Clinton visit

UN envoy discusses Chechnya in Moscow

Solana new Western European Union chief

Moldova's PM-designate withdraws

Chechen government welcomes summit

In pictures: Clinton's violent welcome

Georgia protests over Russian 'attack'

UN chief: No Chechen 'catastrophe'

New arms control treaty for Europe

From Business
Mannesmann fights back

EU fraud -- a billion-dollar bill

New moves in Spain's terror scandal

EU allows labelling of British beef

UN seeks more security in Chechnya

Athens riots for Clinton visit

Russia's media war over Chechnya

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Analysis: East-West relations must shift