Mallory & Irvine Everest Searches, 1999-2019

by JAKE NORTON

April 2023
Twenty-four years ago, in 1999, Conrad Anker discovered the remains of George Mallory on Mount Everest as part of our 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition. Since that time, a lot has transpired: numerous searches have been conducted, many camps and artifacts have been found, and a plethora of theories, ideas, and observations have been […]

Twenty-four years ago, in 1999, Conrad Anker discovered the remains of George Mallory on Mount Everest as part of our 1999 Mallory & Irvine Research Expedition.

Since that time, a lot has transpired: numerous searches have been conducted, many camps and artifacts have been found, and a plethora of theories, ideas, and observations have been made about the final days and hours of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in June 1924.

Sid Pattison works his way across the Longland Traverse back toward the main climbing route and the 1933 Camp VI. The Northeast Ridge rises above with The Warts directly above Sid, and the First Step and Summit clearly visible in the distance.

A year ago, after many requests, I posted an interactive, visual project showing as best I could the searches that took place 1999-2019 (the latter being the last time the North Side of Everest was open, and the last time searches were conducted), the routes and areas searched, items found, etc. It turned out fairly well, I think, but many people had one request: to overlay all the findings on a head-on view of Everest rather than a top-down view from a satellite.

Well, doing that took recreating all the data points on new images, so it took some time. But, I finally worked my way through the last bits recently, and have a new, updated version to share with you all. This new version has the original satellite view, plus two additional "head on" views.

The first head-on view is a multi-image panorama taken by me from Rongbuk Basecamp in May 2004 as Dave Hahn and I wrapped up our 2004 search expedition. The second is an enhanced image taken from a helicopter by Simone Moro when I was attempting the West Ridge in 2012. Simone took the image at our request so we could suss out the conditions in the Diagonal Ditch and Hornbein Couloir, but it ended up being a great image for this purpose as well.

As always, please read the instructions (which open on load) and the caveats in there. But, most importantly, enjoy, and let me know what questions/concerns/corrections you may have!

5 comments on “Mallory & Irvine Everest Searches, 1999-2019”

  1. This is top shelf work once again Jake. I havent seen anything like this anywhere else.

    Am still wrapping my head around it all and the intricacies and terrifying gradients. So much ground seems to have been covered but i guess there is still a possibility Irvine is somewhere up there under rocks and snow.

    Hopefully someone can keep on looking.

    Cheers Alex

    1. Thanks, Alex. It was fun to put together, albeit enormously frustrating at times from a software point of view. But, glad you enjoyed it!

      It is a complex region to be sure, and not a fun one to "search" in, as so much focus is spent on just not becoming the subject of a future search mission! But, like you said, a lot of the ground has been covered and searched somewhat thoroughly. I still think there are places where Irvine could be, and not yet been found, and of course other artifacts from their attempt. Would love (kind of) to get back for another search someday, but not holding my breath for that to come to fruition!

      Best, Jake

  2. Jake as an excellent athlete and amateur outdoors man like Irvine, I would have died on Everest with Mallory. The following is how: We stopped below the 1st step and I leaned my axe to use both hands. When finished we continued in our zoombie state toward CampVI. After a few minutes, I realize that I forgot my axe. I tugged on the 30ft tether and got Mallory's attention. He knew that we couldn't get down without the axe. Retracing his steps he approached me and this is when fatigue and disgust broke Mallory's concentration. Without warning he slipped and we plummeted down the North face. After what seemed an eternity, I stopped sliding. In an exhausted, hypothermic state I lay there semi-conscious, but unbroken. Finally, my life force prompted me to move. I called for Mallory but no answer. I tugged on the tethered and felt resistance. I crawled over and found Mallory unresponsive. I pulled my knife and cut the tether. With my OODA loop spinning out of control, I made a decision to keep moving East with a Horizontal decent. In my weak and confused state, I tried desperately to hug the 30 degree face. Unfortunately without an axe or lamp, my progress was so slow that the hypothermia overwhelmed me. I made it maybe 50 feet and then gravity pulled me off the mountain. Basically unconscious, I free fell in that comfortable dream state until hitting the glacier below. (This scenario is based on my many negative outdoor adventures: hypothermia, lost after dark, sliding down shale walls, rock faces, icy slopes and pitched roofs, cold hands, frozen ropes. Even extreme exhaustion. Not being properly trained for failure resulted in many near death experiences. Panic and confusion below 6000Ft is survivable not at 26,000ft+.) Thank you for all the details in search of answers to this mystery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscriber Supported. Creator Appreciated.

Your patronage makes everything here possible. 
Thank you.

Subscribe now, cancel anytime. No spam, ever.

No thanks, but I would like the free newsletter!

Sign up for free

You might also enjoy…

Giving Tuesday: dZi Foundation

A few weeks back, I gazed across a great gorge, that of the mighty, raging Hunku Khola. Rushing waters coursing from the glaciers of Chamlang, Baruntse, Mera, and innumerable other high peaks carved the valley below me over eons. A spectacular feat of geology and hydrology, and an intimidating one for a trekker. As I […]

Read More

Learn more about

Jake Norton

More from Jake Norton:

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram
Send this to a friend