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  Everest 2005: Mallory and Irvine The Final Chapter: Q&A Autumn 2005 Part 4


Q&A Autumn 2005 Part 4

©EverestNews.com

Q. EverestNews.com reader: What now?

A. EverestNews.com: That is an excellent question. It seems to us that the "search" is clearly above the Second Step. We can find tons of artifacts that might or might not be George or Sandy's but they clearly prove nothing. We know they were on Everest.

The "search" above the Second Step is going to be harder than we first expected. The number of climbers on Everest and the number of climbers getting into trouble all real problems. How does one concentrate on searching when you see climbers in trouble all over the place... All the number of climbers slows everything down getting by them on the way up or down...

The other issue is, how long one can stay up high. While we have climbers who can stay up there for 3-5 hours at a time. Basically , one needs to "Summit" every time you search. Therefore, for a three day search you have the effect of summiting 3 times.

Another issue, is that the ropes are going in later and later. Everyone is waiting on others... All the summits are being pushed back into a small window...

Q. EverestNews.com reader: Plans for 2006?

A. EverestNews.com: Still very much up in the air. At most it will be a very small team. We are also trying to support the Fantasy Ridge expedition which plans to attempt the real Second Step if they get that far...

Q. EverestNews.com reader: What does summiting the real Second Step prove?

A. EverestNews.com: It depends on what is found. As far as we know it is virgin ground. Therfore, we would love to see that whole route close up.

Q. EverestNews.com reader: According to what I've read, Simo's bottle was found about 90 meters below the first step.  That is important information.

A. EverestNews.com: Clearly important that Simo found a bottle. It places them on the up way up... The location of where the bottle was found is in doubt, as we understand it with various versions of where it was actually found.

Q. EverestNews.com reader: Thanks for the great story so far - I've been reading for almost a year and it's still fascinating!  Your theories are well-constructed and I'm now a believer that Mallory could have summitted.  I agree with your focus in the coming months to concentrate on Mallory and finding evidence of his climb above the Second Step.  In determining where to search, is there a way to focus the search by identifying what areas he possibly could have covered (and left his air tanks and frame)?  Given that he was alone, although an accomplished climber, and had limited climbing equipment, aren't there a limited number of routes and areas he could have been in?  Your maps have been helpful and I know the North Face covers a lot of ground, but is there a way to narrow things down?  Best of luck on the mountain this year!

A. EverestNews.com: It is a large area up there. Climbers don't really go off the path... So much to explore. We got great footage this year. There is much "trash" in various places. Who knows at this point who the trash was left by...

We returned to Mount Everest in search of an answer.

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