March 26, 2023

By Ahmet Abdulaziz….

On 29th May 1953, Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Norgay stood on the top of Mount Everest. That was the first evidence of someone reaching the top of the world, 8,849.86 meters above sea level.

Sixty nine years have passed, and every year on this date , people the world over remember Hillary and Norgay, to attain this distinction. But at the same time, many enthusiasts open the case of the 1924 Everest expedition of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine. Many people still believe that Mallory and Irvine were the first persons to reach top of Mount Everest on 8-9 June 1924.

The 1953 expedition ended up with all sort of evidences to prove that Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Horgay, had in fact reached the summit. But unfortunately, regarding the 1924 expedition there are no evidences that Mallory and Irvine had in fact reached the top. Last on that eventful day, the two were last seen just a few hundred meters from the summit. That was the last evidence. A little later they disappeared under the clouds. Both Irvine and Mallory fell and died, leaving behind no evidence to prove that they did have succeeded in reaching the top.

The enthusiasts, the adventurists, various organisations, are still trying to understand, if Irvine and Mallory were still going up , or returning after scaling the summit , when they fell and died. The mystery is still unsolved and unresolved.

The “Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition” of 1999 was organised to sort out this mystery. Unfortunately, they ended up with nothing concrete to prove that the two young men had, infact reached the summit. However, the most important achievement of this expedition was that they found the frozen body of George Mallory. They could not find the dead body of Andrew Irvine.

Mallory and Irvine

The dead body of Mallory was found face-down, with his arms outstretched. One of his legs were broken and there was a serious wound to his skull. It seemed that Mallory and Irvine had roped themselves when they fell since there was a severe rope jerk injury round his waist. But unfortunately, the dead body of Irwine was not found.

Some people believe that they were returning down from the summit, under severe weather conditions. They argue that the skull injury of Mallory seemed to be from an ice ax, which he was using to balance his speed going downward, but unfortunately hit some hidden rock and the ax hit him back on his forehead. But that was simply a probability.

Some reports mention that Mallory had carried the photo of his wife in his pocket, which he had told to leave on the summit. That photo was not found on his remains.

Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Nogay

All subsequent expeditions aimed to sort this mystery out failed to find a camera that Irwine had carried with him. The camera, if found, might carry the negative of the moment when they had reached the summit. But the camera was never found.

With all this, I personally  think that Mallory and Irwine had most probably scaled the summit in 1924, and were the first person to reach the top of Everest, but never returned back. Edmond Hillary and Tenzing Nogay were the first persons to reach there and returned back.

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