Armed with new evidence, a team sponsored by a US climbing web site, http://EverestNews.com
, 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.
George Martin, general manager of EverestNews.com, said the black-and-white film in the camera may have survived in the frigid conditions. “The experts believe that it’s very developable,” he told AFP in a telephone interview.
Martin said the team was searching for Irvine’s body on the basis of new information. “We came across what we feel is critical evidence over a year ago,” he said. “A climber came across a body not wearing a down suit.”
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.
“Did someone summit before Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay? I think it’s possible that one if not both of them did,” he said. “It isn’t about us. It should be about the history of it all,” he said. “This should be about these two men. They were fearless. They gave their lives to it.” —AFP