Everest: Who Got There First?

George Mallory's frozen corpse turns up 75 years after his last climb--a fresh clue in Everest's greatest mystery

The story has assumed mythic proportions, like the sinking of the Titanic or Robert Falcon Scott's doomed race to the South Pole. Shortly after noon on June 8, 1924, the 38-year-old English schoolmaster and Alpinist George Leigh Mallory, along with a young companion, an Oxford engineering student and oarsman named Andrew ("Sandy") Irvine, 22, vanished into the mists surrounding the summit of 29,028-ft. Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain, never to be heard from again.

For 75 years their disappearance has loomed, like Everest itself, as both a challenge and a mystery, made all the more memorable by Mallory's classic...

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