Camera may solve Everest mystery

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In June 1924, nearly three decades before the celebrated 1953 ascent of Mt Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, Mallory and Irvine disappeared while attempting to conquer the 8848m mountain.

Armed with new evidence, a team sponsored by a US climbing website Everest News hopes to find Irvine’s body and the Kodak VPK camera which the climbers are believed to have taken with them when they headed up the mountain on the morning of June 8, 1924.

Mallory, who was making his third assault on Everest having joined unsuccessful 1921 and 1922 British expeditions, and Irvine wore layers of cotton and wool clothes for the climb.

Mallory’s body – face down, arms outstretched clinging to the mountain – was found by members of the Mallory and Irvine Research Expedition in 1999 but they were unable to conclusively determine whether he or Irvine had reached the summit.

Mallory, who uttered the immortal words “Because it’s there” when once asked why he wanted to climb Everest, had apparently died as the result of a fall.

No camera was found on Mallory’s body, which was discovered at about 8182m.