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George Mallory

George Mallory (1886-1924) was born on June 18 in Mobberley, Cheshire (England), the son of a clergyman. As a young child, Mallory was an avid climber and climbed many trees and buildings to hone his budding skills. See a picture of Mallory.

Table of contents
1 Education and Family
2 Climbing History
3 Lost on Everest
4 Commentary
5 References
6 External Links

Education and Family

In 1896, George attended boarding school in Eastbourne after completing preparatory school in West Kirby. In 1900, Mallory (14) won a mathematics scholarship to Winchester College. In October of 1905, Mallory entered Magdalene College to study history. During his time there, he became friends with John Maynard Keynes.

On July 29, 1914 he married the daugher of a local architect in Charterhouse. As Britain was now embroiled in World War I, a distant honeymoon was out of the question. So, instead they went camping where locals got suspicious about two young people in the woods and thus were subsequently arrested on suspicion of being German spies.

On September 9, 1915, George's first daughter, Frances Clare, was born. His second daugher, Beridge Ruth, was born on September 16, 1917.

In 1919, he returned home after serving in World War I.

Climbing History

In 1904, Mallory and a friend attempted to climb Mont Vélon in the Alps but turned back shortly before the summit due to altitude sickness. In 1911, Mallory climbed Mont Blanc.

In 1921 while on a reconnaissance mission exploring routes up to the North Col of Mount Everest, he climbed several lower peaks near Everest to gain an understanding of the region's geography.

In 1922, while Mallory was leading a group of climbers down from the North Col of Everest in waist high snow, an avalanche swept over the group, killing seven Sherpas.

On June 8, 1924 George Mallory and Andrew Irvine attempted to climb to the top of Mount Everest via the North Col route. One observer reported seeing them on the summit but no evidence thus far has proved they reached the top. They never returned to high camp and died somewhere high on the mountain. When George was asked why he wanted to climb Everest, he responded "Because it is there".

In 1995, Mallory's grandson, George Mallory II, reached the summit of Everest.

Lost on Everest

In 1975, a Chinese climber named Wang Hongbao reported seeing the body of an English man near the summit. Unfortunately, Hongbao was killed a day later in an avalanche before the location could be precisely fixed.

In 1999, a Nova expedition found the frozen body of George Mallory at 8,000 metres (27,000') on the north face of Mt. Everest. However, they could not locate either of the two cameras that the two had apparently carried with them. Pictures from the cameras could prove that they reached the top.

In 2004, another expedition plans to return to the area in an attempt to find the cameras. Experts from Kodak have stated that if one of the cameras is found with film, there is a good chance that the film could be developed to produce "printable images" due to the nature of the black and white film that was used.


Even if evidence is eventually uncovered proving that George Mallory and Andrew Irvine reached the summit of Everest on that fateful day in 1924, could history really be changed to state that they made the first ascent? Many mountaineers would say no, because a successful first ascent not only involves reaching the top but also includes returning to the bottom.


External Links