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The Lost Explorer: Finding Mallory on Mount Everest Kindle Edition
In 1999, Conrad Anker found the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, casting an entirely new light on the mystery of the lost explorer.
On 8 June 1924, George Leigh Mallory and Andrew 'Sandy' Irvine were last seen climbing towards the summit of Everest. The clouds closed around them and they were lost to history, leaving the world to wonder whether or not they actually reached the summit - some 29 years before Edmund Hillary and Tensing Norgay.
On 1 May 1999, Conrad Anker, one of the world's foremost mountaineers, made the momentous discovery - Mallory's body, lying frozen into the scree at 27,000 feet on Everest's north face. Recounting this day, the authors go on to assess the clues provided by the body, its position, and the possibility that Mallory had successfully climbed the Second Step, a 90-foot sheer cliff that is the single hardest obstacle on the north face.
A remarkable story of a charming and immensely able man, told by an equally talented modern climber.
About the Author
- ASIN : B00EPG2M60
- Publisher : Constable (August 22, 2013)
- Publication date : August 22, 2013
- Language : English
- File size : 4868 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Sticky notes : On Kindle Scribe
- Print length : 208 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,377 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #39 in Nepal Travel
- #343 in Mountaineering (Kindle Store)
- #596 in Expeditions & Discoveries World History (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Top reviews from the United States
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The Lost Explorer is, despite being comparatively short, two books in one. Part of it, arguably the more interesting, is a biography of Mallory and a history of his efforts to climb Everest. The other is Anker and the 1999 expedition that found his remains. One offers the past, the other a view from the then present. The differences in climbing, both terms of people and equipment, and the public perception of them, especially with the discovery of Mallory's remains, highlight the 75-year gulf between events. It's something that sometimes leaves the 1999 sections of the book feel a bit snippy and a tad self-congratulatory, perhaps as it's the first draft of history instead of analysis in the way the Mallory-centric sections are.
But it's the climber's tales that make this book as readable as it is. Even for someone who doesn't climb, it's hard not to be in awe of what they accomplished or might even have done, as feats of courage and strength. Carl Sagan in Cosmos said that "Exploration is in our nature," and there's little doubt in this reviewer's mind of how true that was for Mallory and Anker both. Even if you're in disagreement with Anker's conclusions about what his illustrious predecessor may have done on a June day nearly a century ago, the respect is clear, even with the snowy mists of time.
The story is told with two voices. The first is David Roberts who gives historical background to the first two British expeditions in 1921 and '22 that set the stage for the dramatic events in 1924 that saw Mallory and Irvine disappear in a snowstorm and vanish into history. He follows Mallory from his youth and introduction to mountaineering through his rise to the upper echelon of the tightly knit world of climbers. But this is not a case of hero worship by Roberts. He presents Mallory as a man who was concurrently absent minded about the simple things in life and single minded in his obsession with climbing. Irvine, although not a minor figure in the drama of 1924, is drawn as an inexperienced climber who bought his ticket to immortality through his innate ability to improvise the equipment the team would need for their final assault on the roof of the world.
Conrad Anker, a well respected world-class climber, is the man who lent the book the voice of an experienced mountaineer. He tells the story of the 1999 expedition including his attempt to free-climb the Second Step. He also tells of the teams summit attempt and the trials they faced as the neared the top.
The two writers speak in different voices and from different perspectives. Anker is more matter of fact than Roberts in his prose and both balance the tragic story of the 1924 expedition and the sadly triumphant 1999.
Whether you hope to someday stand on the foot of the great mountain and view her with the awe and majesty she calls for or wish to follow the path of others up her icy and windswept slopes, buy this book.
Top reviews from other countries
The one question that still still remains after reading this book, was Mallory the first to climb Everest? well there’s no definitive answer to that but it certainly helps guide your opinion.
the team found George Mallory, and wish they could do the same for Sandy Irvine. I had a little problem with the pocket-picking, but
can't think what respect a tin of beef lozenges could add to the amazing George Mallory, also if only his camera had been there.... Tthe DNA test.at first repulsive ,but of course necessary. You are left with huge admiration for G. Mallory, and the team who found him after so many decades.
A really good read.
Once you strip this tale back, you’re left with the story of two driven men - one determined to achieve what most saw as the impossible challenge in reaching the summit of Everest and one determined to achieve what most saw as the impossible challenge of finding him. I have no problem with the taking of a number of items from the body, nor with the samples required for DNA confirmation since Mallory’s family had already given their consent to this. The fact that George Mallory remains part of the mountain that consumed so many of his waking hours has a poetic justice to it. My deepest hope is that Sandy Irvine is not neglected in this and that attempts are made to locate him too. They deserve to be spoken of in the same breath.
Cracking book, thoroughly recommended.