Do you think George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine made it to the summit of Everest in 1924 before disappearing? Everyone who is intrigued by the story has their opinion. We are here to help, whether you’re an old hand to this mystery or it’s the first you have heard about it. 

Descending the Khumbu Icefall in 2021, Everest Cleanup Expedition
Photo by Super Phula Sherpa

To celebrate our first Facebook live event, we thought we would post 10 things you may not have known about the mystery of Mallory and Irvine that you can learn from our show!

So check out the list then watch the full event below for much more on the topic. We hope you get into this story, the great unsolved mystery of mountaineering. Thanks to our featured expert, Thom Pollard, and the amazing Kellie Lin Knott, who ran the controls to keep our show afloat. 

For even more on the 2019 expedition National Geographic see the excellent film, “Lost On Everest,” and read Mark Synnott’s book, The Third Pole, which chronicles the expedition.

10 Little-Known Facts About George Mallory and Andrew “Sandy” Irvine’s Mount Everest Expedition

  1. The expedition was George Mallory’s third trip to Mt Everest.
  2. Andrew “Sandy” Irvine had never climbed before!
  3. Irvine’s ice axe was found in 1933, but it just deepened the mystery.
  4. Mallory and Irvine climbed from the North side of the mountain, in Tibet.
  5. Mallory’s body was found in 1999, by climber Conrad Anker.
  6. Bradford Washburn took arial photographs of Mt. Everest in 1984.
  7. Washburn’s photos were studied by Tom Holzel, who believed he determined the location of Irvine using enormous blowups of Washburn’s images. (Holzel coined the term, “The Mystery of Mallory and Irvine.”)
  8. Thom Pollard brought Mark Synnott to meet Holzel. Synnott had never been to Everest. Holzel convinced Synnott that he knew Irvine’s location.
  9. In 2019, drones were used for the first time to explore the upper reaches of the mountain for clues. (Special permission was needed by the manufacturer.)
  10. There are many supposed sightings by Chinese climbers in the 1970’s of what are believed to be remains of Mallory or Irvine.

We would like to finish our first program as a tribute to the incredibly brave George Mallory and Andrew Irvine, and also to all the people of Nepal, Tibet and China who have worked as guides, porters and staff to help climbers from all over the world to achieve their goals of trekking and climbing  the worlds tallest mountain.

Everest, 2021
Photo by Super Phula Sherpa