Jochen Hemmleb, the expedition historian for the 1999 Mallory & Irvine
Expedition, who is writing a book about the recent events
on Mount Everest, took time off last week to talk to MountainZone.com about the importance of
the discoveries made on the mountain this spring.
Hemmleb recounted how he first became fascinated with the mystery of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine as a boy of six or seven. For the past 11 years, Hemmleb has been actively researching the unresolved aspects of the 1924 disappearance of those climbers.
"I published my first research results in 1994," Hemmleb said. "That's how I got in touch with Larry Johnson, and he put me in touch with Eric Simonson, and that's how the recent expedition came about.
"On a personal level, the expedition to investigate the mystery of Mallory and Irvine was the culmination of years of work.
Hemmleb said that beyond merely knowing where Mallory ended up that fateful day in June 1924, the result of the expedition has allowed the events of that day to be put in perspective.
"We have pushed the knowledge of what had happened that day," said Hemmleb. "We know they reached at least 8500 meters, and we know they were on the way down. One of the team members came back convinced that that famous last sighting of the two English climbers had to have been above the second step. So we do know more about what happened that day, but much is left for deduction and speculation. You should ask me again in two years."
Peter Potterfield, MountainZone.com Staff
Eric Simonson Dave Hahn
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