Australian aims to solve great Everest mystery

May 18, 2010
An Australian adventurer will set out to solve Mount Everest's greatest mystery this week by searching for long-lost evidence that the peak was conquered in 1924, 29 years earlier than previously thought.

An Australian adventurer will set out to solve Mount Everest's greatest mystery this week by searching for long-lost evidence that the peak was conquered in 1924, 29 years earlier than previously thought.

Mountaineer Duncan Chessell said conditions were the best in decades to find the missing body of Andrew "Sandy" Irvine and perhaps photographic evidence that he reached the world's highest peak with fellow Briton George Mallory.

Mallory and Irvine perished near the summit during their expedition, leaving many wondering whether they had successfully scaled Everest. Mallory's body was recovered in 1999 but not the camera equipment he was believed to be carrying.

"I was at North Col last week and the wind was 150 kilometres (90 miles) per hour and it was stripping snow off the mountain which has been there for many years," Chessell said in a message from base camp, according to AAP news agency.

"There is now bare rock exposed which has been deeply covered for decades in the most likely areas where Andrew Irvine's body may be.

"It is my intention to search those areas en route to the summit and take this rare opportunity to find him and, perhaps, the missing cameras."

New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay are acknowledged as the first to conquer Everest in 1953, but Mallory and Irvine's unexplained story has continued to fascinate the mountaineering world.

"I have studied this matter very closely and am now very familiar with ," Chessell said. "I believe we have a good chance of finding something."

Chessell, who is also bidding to become the first Australian to summit Everest three times, was due to begin his final ascent on Tuesday and should reach the peak by Sunday or Monday.

Explore further: Search for frozen camera may reveal who climbed Everest first

Related Stories

'Super Sherpa' climbs to clean up Everest

April 6, 2009

Apa Sherpa has stood on top of the world more times than anyone in history, and now he is heading back up Mount Everest, not for the fame or glory, but in the name of environmental protection.

Older climbers face uphill battle on Mount Everest

August 15, 2007

In this era of not surrendering to age, some claim that 60 is the new 40. But new research shows that 60 year olds cannot keep up with 40 year olds on Mount Everest and suffer a sharply higher chance of dying if they do reach ...

Highest GigaPan Panoramas Taken On Earth's Surface

September 19, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- On May 20, 2009, former NASA astronaut and Ames employee Scott Parazynski became the first person to have been to space and to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. On his way to the summit Parazynski was ...

Spirit Reaches True Summit

October 3, 2005

Spirit is healthy and has provided a spectacular view from the top of "Husband Hill." The rover has acquired numerous panoramas from both the navigation camera and panoramic camera. Spirit took coordinated observations with ...

Recommended for you

Researchers discover new material to help power electronics

March 18, 2019

Electronics rule our world, but electrons rule our electronics. A research team at The Ohio State University has discovered a way to simplify how electronic devices use those electrons—using a material that can serve dual ...

Semimetals are high conductors

March 18, 2019

Researchers in China and at UC Davis have measured high conductivity in very thin layers of niobium arsenide, a type of material called a Weyl semimetal. The material has about three times the conductivity of copper at room ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

shkhanal
5 / 5 (1) May 18, 2010
It was an interesting story and I wish him every success to find and disclose the mystery.
I felt hurt when I read
"New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay".
Sherpa is not nationality as New Zeanand is. I wonder why author hesitated to write
New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Nepali Sherpa Tenzing Norgay
Anyway, wish them best of luck.
A_Paradox
not rated yet May 18, 2010
... I felt hurt when I read
"New Zealand's Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay".
Sherpa is not nationality as New Zeanand is. I wonder why author hesitated to write ... and Nepali Sherpa Tenzing Norgay ....


And *that* is an interesting observation. Do you think and feel that naming Sherpa Tenzing Norgay just only so diminishes him? I cannot say, I have no opinion. I am sure there was no such intention. I think most 'Westerners' who have paid enough attention to the world beyond their doorstep would have a somewhat amazed admiration for the Sherpas. Perhaps it is not something we can be proud of but I think many more people would know that the people living near Mt Everest are called Sherpas than that Everest is mostly in Nepal.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.